Ear: Whale

Blue whales, the largest animal on earth at 110 feet long, have been sighted off the Oregon and Washington coasts recently, NWNewsNetwork.org reports (bit.ly/bluesORWA). 

John Calambokidis and Kiirsten Flynn, Cascadia Research Collective biologists, were surveying humpbacks and gray whales about 17 miles off Westport, Washington, in late July, when some distinctively tall spouts were spotted.

Upon investigation, the pair found two blue whales known to be from a California group. Calambokidis said this is only the fourth sighting off Washington in 50 years. His photo of one of the whales is shown.

Incidentally, the biologists also observed more than a dozen blue whales off the coast of Southern Oregon.

It's too soon to tell if the whales' northward movement is temporary or not. Time will tell.

Elleda Wilson is an editorial assistant for The Astorian and author of the award-winning In One Ear community column. Contact her at 971-704-1718 or ewilson@dailyastorian.com.

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