Saturday, January 09, 2010

Elephant Seals

Every winter, male & female elephant seals arrive in droves to the Ano Nuevo State Reserve about 55 miles (88 km) south of San Francisco to mate and give birth. If you enlarge the photo, you can see a few pups.
Males can get as large as 5,000 lbs. (2267 kg) and females as large as 1,400 lbs. (640 kg) so they mainly lie around all day.
You can click here for more details about the elephant seals.

An adult male can be identified based on its size, large snout, and colors around its neck. This one just enjoyed a dip in the water.

A baby seal camouflaged in the bushes. We were told to stay at least 25 feet away from the wildlife, but we came across this one without any warning. It started to hiss at us and its parents nearby started to slither towards us.
We got out of there as quickly as possible!

Wooden platforms are built alongside the beach for humans to watch the seals from a safe distance. From the platform, I caught this one looking up at me. It seems to have a sinus problem?
You can see them live on the seal cam here assuming it is daytime here.

Male elephants seals sizing each other up ready to fight to determine dominance.

- Karen


Joanne Olivieri said...

Karen, these are SPECTACULAR shots. Oh they are all so cute even the large guys. If I were that large I'd be lying around all day too. You captured some great closeups. I'd love to see that in person and I may just check it out. Thanks for the info.

betchai said...

Karen, love your shots, and that baby seal hiding in the bushes looks very expressive, i love watching them.

Christian BOCHET said...

Bonjour Karen,
de très belles photos que j'aurais aimé prendre.
Bonne journée.


Hello Karen,
very nice pictures that I liked to take.
Good day.

roentare said...

Simply wonderful shots. So cute and so much musical feel with the way they move

fortuitous faery said...

they're beautiful! and what a coincidence that you mention them going to a place called "ano nuevo," which is spanish for "new year." perfect timing much?

happy new year! :)

jam said...

The trunk of baby seal isn't that profound. I see some birds. They get along well?

Anonymous said...

Adorable creatures. Do they attack?

67 Not Out said...

Arrived here via fuelmyblog and I'm glad I did! What wonderful photos a sight to behold.

Great blog,

AVCr8teur said...

Thank you everyone for your comments.

Poetic Shutterbug: Their faces are really cute almost like a puppy's face. Luckily, most were beached pretty close to the platform so we could get a closer look at them.

Betchai: The baby was definitely scared of us. Since they are all free to roam anywhere, some roamed all the way up the beach which was where we saw this little guy.

Christian: Thank you. Wildlife is fun to photograph.

Roentarre: Their faces are really cute. Surprisingly with their huge size, they move pretty quick.

Fortuitous Faery: It never occurred to me that it meant new year until you brought it up to my attention! You are so right!

Jam: Their trunks get larger as they mature into adults. From what I read, seagulls like to eat the placentas after the females give birth. They get along unless the birds get too close to their pups.

Mei Teng: They are quite territorial so I would not want to get too close to a mad 6000 lbs. animal. They do move fast for their size.

67 Not Out: Thank you for visiting for the first time. I wasn't sure how far my blog reaches so thanks for letting me know where you saw it.

earthtoholly said...

Awww, they are so cute. And these are really great pics---you got right up there!

Lost said...

Hey Karen, thanks for the comment on my blog :) I'm a very amateur photographer - looking at yours I see how amateur I really am! They are amazing! Really beautiful shots. I'll definitely subscribe to your feed.

Unknown said...

very interesting, Karen! Love it :D

Mandy said...

I love the picture of the baby seal! I took a look at the seal cam - so cute! I've never seen any live coverage of California so that was a bit exciting too.