Posted by: cvancil | June 19, 2009

Elephant Seal Rookery

Which ones are the seals and which ones are the logs?

Which ones are the seals and which ones are the logs?

Thanks to Veronica Hill for this great article about the Elephant Seals!

The Elephant Seal Rookery at Piedras Blancas, 9 miles north of San Simeon, is the best place to view elephant seals in California.

Located on a convenient vista turnout right off Highway 1, the Elephant Seal Rookery is home to a colony of between 7 and 10 thousand northern elephant seals.

Though they live off the California coast, northern elephant seals migrate twice a year, sometimes traveling as far as the Aleutian Islands or Hawaii.

Male elephant seals can weigh up to 9,000 pounds, dive at depths of up to a mile and hold their breath for almost 2 hours.

While at sea, elephant seals eat a diet of fish and squid. On land, they do not eat. They survive off their rich blubber, often spraying sand on their backs to keep cool.

Docents are on hand daily to answer questions about the colony, who can be seen mating, giving birth, fighting for females and molting, depending on the time of year you visit.

In January, the females give birth to a single pup after an 11-month pregnancy. Only half make it to adulthood.

Hunted for their blubber, they neared extinction during the 1800s. They are named for their trunklike, inflatable snouts.

Next time you’re driving along scenic highway 1, check out the elephant seals. It’s free, it’s fun and educational.

Elephant Seal Rookery
Friends of the Elephant Seal
PO Box 490
Cambria, CA 93428
Phone: (805) 924-1628



  1. That picture is awesome. I can’t even tell some are logs.

  2. Great post!

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