The Rookery

Of Elephant Seals

Since 1990 this Rookery of Elephant Seals has experienced growth and that is a true sign of a healthy rookery. In 2011 there were about 4000 pups born. Pretty Impressive!


(Photos by RSheridan)

Interesting Fact:  12 of the 15 known rookeries are on the Coast of California. There is rookery on Vancouver Island and Cedros Island off Baja California. The mainland rookeries, like Piedras Blancas, Ano Nuevo and Point Reyes are relatively recent rookeries.


Hello There! (Photos by RSheridan)

I learned many new things about elephant seals from a docent with the Friends of the Elephant Seal.

  1. Elephant seals migrate solo twice a year over thousands of miles; not in a pod. Spend 8 to 10 months a year in the open ocean.
  2. Elephant seal pups when born are not able to swim (takes up to 8 to 10 weeks for them to learn how to swim before taking off on their own to migrate). Imagine that! Plus they migrate solo for the 1st time out and pretty much right back to the spot on the beach in California where they were born. AMAZING!
  3. The Bull elephant seals can weigh up to 5,000 pounds when coming on to land and lose most of that tonnage (about a 1/3 of their body weight) during their time spent on the beach. Why you may ask?
  4. The elephant seals are fasting – no food and no water – while in the rookery.


Seals Everywhere are Seals (Photo by RSheridan)

 The rookery is located on Highway 1 just 7 miles north of San Simeon on the Beauitful California Central Coast. The rookery is home to about 17,000 animals that come to shore to rest, molt, breed and give birth. It is FREE and open for viewing every day of the year. Please stay on the Boardwalk – these seals may seem docile or lazy, but could came at you like a Mack truck if not careful!


Being Lazy Here! (Photo by RSheridan)

The Sounds of Elephant Seals

  • Belches
  • Grunts
  • Snorts
  • Trumpeting (the males of course)
  • Gargles
  • Squeaks, Squeals
  • Bleats, Whimpers

You may chuckle a bit when watching the elephant seals due to the sounds they make!

Check Them Out!

On the LiveCam.

Check Out the Friends of the Elephant Seal Website! Friends of the Elephant Seal was formed in November of 1997. The docents are great and a wealth of information about the elephant seals, the rookery, viewing safety, the history of the area, the other marine life, the tides, etc. I enjoyed spending time with a docent and asking questions; learned a lot! Education is Key in protecting any wildlife, fauna or flora; Be Respectful!

Thanks to the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972 these elephant seals are protected from hunting and harassment.

Other Animals that Live Among the Rookery

I saw harbor seals, a sea otter, birds (including pelicans), and squirrels.

  • Birdlife
  • Pelicans
  • Squirrels (have a condo system under the boardwalk)
  • Harbor Seals
  • Sea Lions
  • Sea Otters
  • Dolphins
  • Whales (Gray and Humpback and Orcas)
  • Sharks

Let’s remember to not feed the local wildlife and keep them wild please!


Someone has a COOKIE – Oh No! (I DO NOT feed the wildlife!)


(Photos by RSheridan)

Piedras Blancas Lighthouse


(Photos by RSheridan)

Interesting Marine Mammals to Watch – AMAZING!!!

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About cravesadventure

I love to adventure to new places to create new life experiences. View all posts by cravesadventure

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