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        Calendar: March 2014

Natural Events

Harbor seal pupping season. Peak of the northern gray whale migration. Cow-calf pairs can be seen near shore through July, Gulf of the Farallones and Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuaries.

Gray whales migration begins, running through May. Northern fur seals migrate along continental shelf break returning to Alaska. Bald eagle nesting and egg laying begin through early April. Sea otter pupping through early spring. Olympic Coast Sanctuary, Washington State.

Harbor seal sleeping

Pacific harbor seal (Phoca vitulina) pupping season on San Miguel Island, Channel Islands Sanctuary (February through May).

Scalloped hammerhead and spotted eagle ray schools peak during this month in the Flower Garden Banks Sanctuary.

Late February to early March North Atlantic right whale females, their calves and juveniles begin their northward migration.

Returning migratory shorebirds visit Georgia's coastal and offshore waters including Gray's Reef Sanctuary to feed on the plentiful bait fish building up their energy reserves to continue their journey northward to their nesting grounds.

Upwelling season begins with persistent northwest winds pushing surface waters offshore and drawing in, cold, deep, nutrient rich waters to Cordell Bank Marine Sanctuary.

Nearly on quarter-million seabirds nesting on the nearby Farallon Islands forage in the Gulf of the Farallones and Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuaries, March through mid-August.

During early spring, island wildflowers such as the Giant Coreopsis (Coreopsis gigantea) are in full bloom (March through early April) on the Channel Islands Sanctuary.

Gray whales (Eschrichtius robustus) migrate north through Channel Islands, Monterey Bay, Gulf of the Farallones and Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuaries from calving grounds in Baja California, Mexico to Alaskan feeding grounds (Mid-February through May).

Peak egg-laying season for California Brown Pelicans (Pelecanus occidentalis californicus) on Anacapa and Santa Barbara Islands (March and April).

Brant Geese (Branta bernicla) stop to rest and feed in the Channel Islands region on their annual migration between Mexico and Alaska (March through May). Western Gulls (Larus occidentalis) begin nesting on the Channel Islands. Xantus's Murrelets (Synthiboramphus hypoleucus) breed and nest on the Channel Islands (March through July).

Peak spawning season for Grunion (Leuresthes tenuis) on southern California beaches. Grunion leave the water at night to spawn on the beach in the spring and summer months two to six nights after the full and new moons. Spawning begins after high tide and continues for several hours (late March through early June).

Island Fox (Urocyon littoralis) pups are born in early spring on the Channel Islands (March and April).


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