babies at the beach

Seal_pupI had quite forgotten it was time for the seal pups to be born…

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I had never seen a pup this small before. I kept my distance so as not to disturb these two, though mom was definitely aware of me. These shots were taken with a 250mm zoom and cropped quite radically.

The pups are very advanced when they are born, with a natural instinct to swim. They are one of the few species of seals where the pups go into the water just a couple of hours after they are born. Even though they are swimming, they don’t search for food at this time. Instead they get nutrition from the milk their mother offers for the first few months of life.Β  (from seals-world)

Seal_pup-7Another mother with baby nursing by her side… A couple of oystercatchers in the foreground.



33 thoughts on “babies at the beach

    • Utterly amazing to come across close to a dozen mom’s feeding their pups. The one above was the closest to me and the youngest little one, too. Most of the others were half hidden behind their moms.


  1. Hope there is a lot of them born up there. This season’s mysterious death of so many baby seals continues in Socal!! They think its lack of food supply in the ocean but I don’t think they are 100% sure


  2. Thanks so much for sharing this Gunta. Harbor seals are some of my favorites! We have spent hours kayaking the bays just to watch these beautiful creatures. πŸ™‚


  3. How incredibly exciting, to be so close, all of you watching each other, and the
    vast ocean and rocks roiling around you. Which made me think at once of
    Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
    Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
    All mimsy were the borogoves,
    And the mome raths outgrabe.


    • Exceedingly exciting indeed! I managed to get pretty close before I was aware of the baby pup being there. I suspect I made mom nervous enough for the two of them to head into the water.
      My high school had the Jabberwock for a mascot… could it be the galumphing that brought this to mind?


    • I never know what to expect when I go to the beach. It was a relatively boring scene… same old sea stacks, overcast gray skies, calm sea…. but we needed the walk so I headed off toward the big cliffs hoping to maybe catch a few birds. When I looked over toward the rocks where I had previously caught those amazing crashing waves… there they were…
      At first I thought it was just a bunch of seals. I hadn’t seen them for awhile, but it’s one of their favorite hangouts (or haul outs as it’s called). I didn’t realize the pups were there until I got closer and started shooting… a perfect mother’s day treat.


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