Live Beach Cam
The months of April and May bring the largest number of elephant seals to the beaches of the Piedras Blancas Elephant Seal rookery, with thousands of seals arriving for the Spring molt. At the same time, this winter’s weanlings (weaned seals) are departing on their first migration into the Pacific. They won’t be back until the Fall haulout in September-November. LEARN MORE ABOUT THE WEANLINGS…
Watch closely for the adult females and juvenile seals returning to Piedras Blancas. You’ll notice some of the young males sparring and adult seals competing for the limited real estate in the prime locations on the beach. The molt is the time when the seals shed their worn outer coat and grow a new coat to replace it. Each seal will be on the beach for about a month while this occurs.
*The live beach cam runs on a solar-powered battery. With 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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