Scarback The Gray Whale

Confirmed identification sighting of gray whale known as Scarback, an older female gray whale in her mid 40’s was sighted traveling north with another adult gray whale. Injured by an exploding harpoon in 1985-88, she has a large scar covered over in lice on her dorsal hump area. The lice that live on gray whales are helpful not parasitic, feeding on dead and decayed tissue. Scarback is a local Summer Resident gray whale of Depot Bay in Oregon. Summer Resident gray whales are those that stay for more than 2 days and up to a few months to feed, each whale returning year after year. Scarback has birthed several calves over the years. One was born in the mid 1990’s and others include Scarlett in 2001 , Milkyway in 2004 and another in 2008. I last saw her with a calf in 2016. The Summer Resident Gray Whales stop along the coast of Oregon to feed cutting their migration short but still migrate south for birthing and come back again in the summer to feed.

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