These Canada Geese parents make herding a gaggle of goslings look pretty easy!
The chicks really blend into the grass so I had to wait until they took to the water to get a good pic. This couple has 7! I combined the rest of the pix into a YouTube slideshow below. One or both the parents swam with their head down. It looked like they were protecting the chicks from the other geese but I’m not sure. I read that several couples gather together after the chicks hatch. This is called a creche. I wonder if geese in one creche protect the chicks from geese in another creche?
There are signs of spring everywhere on the Oregon Coast. See the 2 grey dots between the one elk’s ears? That’s the bull who recently shed his antlers. I think the bulls lose their antlers just before birthing season so they can get in touch with their feminine side. They’re a little more humble without antlers. 🙂
The Canada Geese are pairing up and building their nests. You can see them on the Alsea Bay and up the river. Eckman Lake is a good place to see a lot of them on their nests.
The brown pelicans have been here for over a month now. These were in Yachats. Seagulls are here year-round.
This is looking at Waldport from the beautiful arch on the Alsea Bay Bridge. It’s my favorite place to look for seal pups.
It’s common to see Pelagic Cormorants diving in the bay and coming up with nesting material. They make nests under the bridge out of sight of all but the boaters.
There are wall-to-wall harbor seals but I didn’t see any babies on this day (Apr 10, ’15). Seals are able to delay implantation after their egg is fertilized. Now, how does their body know, 9 months ahead, when will be the best conditions for giving birth? I have a lot of questions when I get to heaven! 🙂
These seals were finished with their nap and were crabbing near the base of the bridge.
If you’ve ever been 9 months pregnant, I’m sure you can relate to this mama seal. She just cooled off in the Alsea Bay and now she’s warming up in the sun.
I saw lots of new seal pups last Friday. A lot of them were out of good range for my zoom lens. An eagle came and sat on the beach for quite a while too.
There were 3 or 4 pups close to the bridge. They usually stick close to their moms. Although I saw one swimming alone and wanted to warn him of the dangers. When they swim with their moms, they nuzzle up to their moms often. It reminds me of seeing young children in a grocery store with their moms; hanging onto her clothes or her leg. When the seals are floating on the surface, the moms often tilt their head back. I’ve seen them do it even when they are alone. But when they have a pup, her baby kisses her nose.
Seals are much more comfortable moving in the water than on land. Sea Lions can use their hind flippers to help move them on land but seals cannot. This pup looked like he felt so free being in the water. Click on the photo to enlarge it and you can see its umbilical cord! One source says this indicates the pup is less than 10 days old.
We watched the harbor seals bobbing in Yaquina Bay while we had lunch on the South Jetty, Newport. It was 90F yesterday!
Today, I looked for seal pups from the Alsea Bay Bridge.
I think there were a few but this was the closest one to me.
The funniest thing happened…all at once, about 20 – 30 seals lept off the beach into the bay. I couldn’t see any reason for it.
Maybe that’s how they leave the beach…all at once?
The cormorants are interesting to watch too. They seem to have their favorite spots where they know they can find seaweed under water. They dive to gather it off the bottom. They come up with a mouthful and fly off with it. I think they nest somewhere under the bridge. I saw them fly under the bridge but I didn’t think to watch to see if they came out the other side.