Tag Archives: harbor seal

Spring Wildlife

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.  🙂

Bull elk shed his antlers
Bull elk shed his 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.

Canada Geese beginning to nest
Canada Geese beginning to nest

The brown pelicans have been here for over a month now.  These were in Yachats.  Seagulls are here year-round.

Brown Pelicans fishing off Yachats River
Brown Pelicans fishing off Yachats River

This is looking at Waldport from the beautiful arch on the Alsea Bay Bridge.  It’s my favorite place to look for seal pups.

Alsea Bay Bridge, Waldport, OR
Alsea Bay Bridge, Waldport, OR

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.

Cormorant under Alsea Bridge
Cormorant under Alsea Bridge

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!  🙂

Wall-to-wall seals in Alsea Bay
Wall-to-wall seals in Alsea Bay

These seals were finished with their nap and were crabbing near the base of the bridge.

Harbor Seals in Alsea Bay
Harbor Seals in Alsea Bay

Pop! Goes the Harbor Seal!

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.

Pregnant Harbor Seal
Pregnant Harbor Seal

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.

harbor seals, pups and eagle
From the Alsea Bay Bridge, looking east

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.

harbor seal mom and pup
Seal mom and pup touch noses

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.

harbor seal mom and pup
Pups just wanna have fun!