Tag Archives: harbor seals

Workamping Wildlife Videos

My favorite thing about workamping is the opportunities for wildlife viewing.

Protective Harbor Seal Mom with Pup viewed from the Alsea Bay Bridge near Tillicum Beach Campground:

 

Mallard ducklings strike out on their own on the Alsea River near Blackberry Campground:

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Fat, Cool, and Happy…as long as we’re in the water

Just a few more minutes dear…

harbor seals relax in water
Relaaaaaaax

We watched the harbor seals bobbing in Yaquina Bay while we had lunch on the South Jetty, Newport.  It was 90F yesterday!

harbor seals nuzzle
Seal Snuggles

Today, I looked for seal pups from the Alsea Bay Bridge.

harbor seal pup and mom
Pupping Season

I think there were a few but this was the closest one to me.

20 - 30 seals swooshed into the water
20 – 30 seals swooshed into the water

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?

Cormorant gathers seaweed from bottom of the Alsea Bay
Cormorant gathers seaweed from bottom of the Alsea Bay

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.

The Birds and the Bees Minus the Bees

Let me tell you ’bout the birds and the bees…

Turkey Vulture - Red Tag on (BC) Right Wing
Turkey Vulture – Red Tag (BC) on Right Wing

I’ll find out more about Turkey Vulture BC but in the meantime click here to read about tagging vultures in Venezuela.

and the flowers and the trees…

Gold Finch Couple Camoflaged in Tree
Gold Finch Couple Camoflaged in Tree

and the moon and a bug …

I'll arm wrestle you for the 1 bug!
I’ll arm wrestle you for the 1 bug!

Okay so I changed the words to the song.  But I don’t have a photo of the moon today and had to work in the crawdad photo.

We left him in the cage til he calls friends and family for a pot luck dinner.

Warning:  The next photo may not be suitable for children.

And a thI-ng called lo-O-ove

Flicker Love
Flicker Love

Sorry, but after the 3rd Flicker couple stopped to use our tree, I had to take a photo.  Besides, one observation is an oddity, twice is notable, the third makes it a study. 🙂

Harbor Seal Mom and Pup
Harbor Seal Mom and Pup

Say hello to the new generation of Harbor Seals in Alsea Bay.

Seal Pup Kisses
Seal Pup Kisses

I wonder if seal puppy breath smells as sweet as dog puppy breath?

Seal Snuggles
Seal Snuggles

This is my favorite.  It’s the same look on a human parent’s face when they look at their sweet little baby.  You know, before they turn 2. 🙂

Seems like a good time to share a friend’s child-rearing philosophy:

Babies are adorable.  But when they turn 2, put them in a box with holes in it.

Then, when they turn 13, fill in the holes.

My thought: If you do not take the first step (with the box), there’s no turning back and you deserve everything you get.

Bald or Golden Eagle

My guess is that this is a 2nd or 3rd year Bald Eagle.  This was as clear of a photo I could get from the Alsea Bay Bridge this evening.

Eagle on Alsea Bay
Golden or Bald Eagle

The Harbor Seal pupping season brings in the scavengers.

Eagle near Seals, Alsea Bay
Eagles Have Patience

Seals give birth to their pups close to the water, if not IN the water.  I think because it’s easier for Mom to protect the pups from hungry seagulls who are the first to arrive.

Seagulls Hover
Seagulls Hover Around Birthing Seals

As the pup is being born the seagulls are trying to pick off the nutrient-rich placenta; or maybe the lanugo (protective coat which is shed in utero).

Protective Mom
Protective Mom

When another seal hauls out nearby, Mom puts herself between her pup and the other seal.  Looks like she’s laying down the rules.  Once she’s convinced there’s no threat, she moves back to the best position for the pup.  I think the pup is facing her in the photo below.

Harbor Seal Mom and New Pup
Harbor Seal Mom and New Pup

I didn’t see the new pup move.  They are able to swim and open their eyes as soon as they are born so I don’t know if this one is doing too well.  I didn’t even see it nurse.  But then they only nurse for a minute every 3 hours.  They must really suck it down though, they double their body weight in 6 weeks.

Alsea Bay Haulout from the Bridge
Alsea Bay Harbor Seal Haulouts from the Bridge

The seals were split into 2 groups today.  The pup and eagle are in the far group.  I didn’t see any pups in the closer group.  There is another, smaller, group west of the bridge.

People can walk to that haulout so I expect the seals won’t stay there long if people keep bothering them.  Some don’t think they’re bothering the seals by moving slowly and quietly while they try to get as close as they can without a seal moving off.  But all the seals keep an eye on the people, so you know there is some tension.  Tension is not something a mother in labor needs more of.  So please watch from the bridge with your binoculars.

Pre-pupping Season Activities on Alsea Bay

I’m keeping a close eye on the Harbor Seals from the Alsea Bay Bridge, Waldport, Oregon.

Alsea Bay Bridge Oblisque
Alsea Bay Bridge Obelisk

There is lots of activity out there!

Harbor Seals - pre-pupping season
Pre-pupping Season Activity

Harbor seals don’t have much contact, other than during mating season and pre-pupping season.

Harbor Seals Rolling in Water
Rolling

According to SeaWorld: Prior to the pupping season, males and females exhibit pre-mating activity such as rolling, bubble-blowing, and mouthing each other’s necks. This pre-mating behavior ends with the beginning of the pupping season.

Neck Biting
Neck Biting

I have never seen them move so fast on the sand before.  They would dart out of the water to shoot up onto the beach.

Kissing Harbor Seals
Kissy-Kissy

One might interact for a minute with another on-shore.  Then dart back into the water.

Harbor Seals Darting
Never seen them move so fast on sand

Harbor Seals usually keep space between them when hauled out; whereas Sea Lions lay all over each other.