Live Beach Cam

South Beach, Piedras Blancas Rookery

North Beach, Piedras Blancas Rookery

It’s the Fall Haul-Out!   Juvenile seals rule the beaches at the Piedras Blancas Elephant Seal Rookery during the fall season.  Most of them are 5 years of age or less.

We especially look forward to welcoming back “the young of the year”- last winter’s pups, whom we last saw as weanlings before they left on their first migration.  Although many of them return no larger than when they left, they have survived!  These tiny adventurers have been at sea, exploring their ocean home, since they left the rookery last April.

The Fall Haul-Out is an important time for the development of their bones and land muscles, as they must contend with the forces of gravity again.  It also helps to set their annual cycle of returning to the rookery twice a year for the rest of their lives.

Our visitors often ask: Where are their mothers?  Elephant seal mothers leave weaned pups on the beach after nursing for 4 weeks. The adult female seals are now pregnant again,  on their own long migration journeys, thousands of miles away at sea, working hard to forage in very deep waters. They will return in December and January for the winter birthing season.

Want to learn more?  Watch Fall Haul-Out- Quick Elephant Seal Facts (available in 14 languages) on our YouTube Channel.  You can even take a Virtual Field Trip to the Fall Haul-Out with the Friends of the Elephant Seal docents.  Visit What’s Happening Now to catch up arrivals and departures from the rookery beaches each month.

We hope you’ve had a chance to check out our new North Beach web cam.  Let us know what you think. 

As always, thanks for checking on the seals! 

About The Seals

About Elephant Seals

Seals on the sand

The northern elephant seal is the second largest seal in the world, after the southern elephant seal. Much more agile in their ocean environment, an elephant seal moves on land with considerable effort, by using its front flippers and belly. Adult males are 14 to 16 feet (4 to 5 m) in length and 4,000 to 5,000 pounds (1,400 to 2,300 kg) in weight. The females are much smaller at about 9 to 12 feet (2.5 to 4 m) in length and weigh 900 to 1,800 pounds (400 to 800 kg). Pups are 3 to 4 feet (1 m) long at birth and weigh about 70 pounds (32 kg).

What's Happening On The Beach?

Month by Month at the rookery

The number of seals at the rookery peaks three times during the year: in late January when most births have occurred, around the first of May at the peak of the juvenile/adult female molt, and in late October during the fall or juvenile haul-out. The annual cycle begins in November with the arrival of mature males at the end of the month.

Why Elephant Seals Are Awesome

Fun Facts

  • Elephant seals take their name from the large proboscis of the adult male (bull), which resembles an elephant’s trunk.
  • Male elephant seals weigh as much as a small truck or cargo van.
  • Elephant seals are shielded from extreme cold more by their blubber than by fur.

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Friends of the Elephant Seal is a 501(c) (3) non- profit corporation, relying on grants, sponsorships, memberships and your donations. Your charitable contribution supports our programs.

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Friends of the Elephant Seal is a cooperating association with California State Parks.

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