Live Beach Cam
February and March are the final months of the the northern elephant seal birthing and breeding season at Piedras Blancas! The first births of the season occurred in mid-December and the season peaked in late January. During February, we observe adult female seals mating and leaving their weaned pups behind. The weanlings retreat from the rookery action to form “weanling pods” next to the bluffs. The adult male seals will leave after the last adult female has departed.
*The live beach cam runs on a solar-powered battery. As we start to see more cloudy and rainy conditions, there are days when there is insufficient power to send the signal. It will be OK again when the sun comes back out. No need to let us know. 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
- 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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