Central California Coast Elephant Seals

Each year we drive to the Central California Coast north of San Simeon so that we can visit the elephant seal rookery. We don't seem to tire of watching the wildlife. The elephant seals migrate to the same area every year. It serves as a rookery for them. We totally enjoy watching them challenge one another, spar, give birth and take care of their young.

Facts from Friends of the Elephant Seal: "The Northern Elephant Seal, Mirounga angustirostris , is an extraordinary marine mammal. It spends eight to ten months a year in the open ocean, diving 1000 to 5000 feet deep for periods of fifteen minutes to two hours, and migrating thousands of miles, twice a year, to its land based rookery for birthing, breeding, molting and rest. The Piedras Blancas rookery, on Highway 1 seven miles north of San Simeon on the California Central Coast, is home to about 15,000 animals."

Sea gulls are scavengers and eagerly await the birth of a seal. They are always there to dispose of the afterbirth.

These two young bulls made a lot of noise and battled until one was shoved into the water.
Further down the beach two older, more experienced bulls had their sparring match which became a little bloody.


It is Outdoor Wednesday!

Thank you for joining me on this snippet of "Wild Kingdom", our wildlife adventure. Outdoor Wednesday is hosted by Susan at A Southern Daydreamer. Stop by and take a look at all of the outdoor activities that are being shared!


  1. Very interesting post, and that's quite a gash on that bull. You caught a lot of great action!
    Now I want to make a trip to CA, to visit the seals. =)

    Happy New Year to you!

  2. Thats for sharing your story. I have never seen a Northern Elephant Seal. Very interesting!

  3. A very interesting post, Kate. We see a lot of seals up here too. I love to watch them and am always amazed, despite their bulk and clumsy appearance, at how well they get around and so effortlessly glide through the water. Sounds like you had a lovely time. thanks for sharing your photos.

  4. Craig and I love visiting this area, too. Can you believe how windy it gets there? Great photos! The last time we visited, I could barely walk against the wind, so I didn't take photos.
    Happy New Year, my friend!

  5. Happy New Year from our house to your house. Ohhhh, these "cute" images made me smile.
    Joyce M

  6. I love watching the elephant seals also and posted pics over the summer that my son took. But more than anything I miss the beaches of California. After close to 50 years of my life on that coast, it is still hard to call the Gulf Coast of Florida home. My favorite vacation has been the many I've taken up Hwy 1, there's nothing like it. Thanks for bringing memories to me this day. Happy New Year!

  7. What a great sight to see all these elephants seals. You got some awesome shots.

    Happy New Years to you and your family.

  8. I've been there a couple times to see them. It always fascinates me. Great photos.

  9. Oh that is wild. They are very tough mammals aren't they. I like how nature cleans up after itself.

  10. What an interesting post. I have never seen that many seals in my life. Really enjoyed all the pictures and your words on them. Great for an outdoor feature.

  11. This post was awesome! I loved the photo journey. I have only seen seals in their natural habitat once in my lifetime- of course, it was in the state of California. Thanks for sharing this with all your readers.

    Happy New Year!

  12. Wow, I wouldn't mind driving there too if we're a little bit close hehehe. Thanks for sharing.

    My entry, wishing you and your family a fruitful new year!

  13. Wow, Discovery Channel come to life! The photos are fantastic, Kate! I can imagine how much more exciting it would be being there. Thanks for sharing them.

    Wishing you and your family a wonderful 2010! May you all be blessed with happiness and good health in the new year! :)

  14. Thanks for this post, Kate. The photos are wonderful, and the story is fascinating. I didn't know much about these animals. I've been reading that the seals in SF are disappearing. Do you see a change in the number of seals here?

    Happy New Year! I'm glad I found your blog this year.

  15. That must be a real sight! Oh my they really do hurt each other! I think I'd be getting out a broom and yelling stop it! Stop it! LOL! ll the best to you for a Happy New Year! Sherri@lavenderfields

  16. Kate, I read the article on the SF seal lions also. The number of sea lions drops in the winter due to the availability of food (Newsweek had an article out to clarify.)

    The elephant seals that I posted are much larger than the California Seal Lions that weigh in at about 850 pounds. The male Elephant Seal can weigh more than 4500 pounds and be 16 feet long. They are huge!

    I would never want to ge any closer than I was!

  17. Hi Kate, How interesting to see these creatures...amazing how big they get! I'm a wimp...couldn't watch them fight. I'm a big chicken...I turn off the t.v. when I'm watching a nature show and the gazelle is getting chased down by the mean ole lion or cheetah. ;-}

  18. you got some great shots! just wanted to wish you a very happy new years and i will see you next year!

  19. Wow...that must have been something to see. A friend from work was just showing me some pics of the seals in SF. I'm with Susan...I don't know if I could watch them fight.

    Thanks for sharing this tale.



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