Observers who flock to California’s coast yearly to watch magnificent whales and other marine life say they’ve noticed an increase in the number of whales this year. Now, Monterey Bay is full of people with video cameras and binoculars who want to catch a glimpse of the marine animals, including endangered blue and humpback whales.

A main source of food for the whales, krill, has increased this year because of strong winds that push up cold, nutrient-rich waters from the ocean bottom. Known as upwelling, this has multiplied phytoplankton that krill feed on, which in turn has produced more krill for the whales.

Tourists are reveling in the sights, while whale-watching guides report double the business they had last year. A video from the AP embedded below shows some of the whales before they head south to their winter breeding grounds off the coast of Mexico and Central America.

Image from Mike Baird (mikebaird) on the flickr Creative Commons

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