Here is an overview of one part of the rookery. Lots of moms and pups sprawled out. There are also some big females here that are waiting to give birth.
There were two large females that we were keeping our eye on, as they kept moving around the beach, separating themselves a bit from the others, and once they did settle, the just couldn't seem to get comfortable. One spotted female hauled herself as close the the bluff wall as she could, hunkered down and started rocking back and forth, almost like she was heaving or panting.
Soon a flock of seagulls swarmed in. This was a good sign for an impending birth, as they like to swoop in pretty quickly after a pup is born and eat the placenta and afterbirth. I am not sure what clues them on the impending birth, but they clearly knew something was going to happen.
|Waiting for an afterbirth snack. Yum!?|
|Black harbor seal pup, just a few minutes old.|
Mama seal nudged him along until they were closer to the shoreline and separated from the rest of the group. One large wave and they were covered and in the water. The pup quickly understood the drill here and bobbed around in the water with mama seal propping him up every now and then. After a little play, they made their way back on the beach.
|Resting after their first dip in the Pacific.|
Needless to say, we were very excited to get to see a live birth! Can't wait to go back and see the little squirt grow. It's the only solid black one on the beach so far.