Friday, December 28, 2012

Pups on the beach

Lots of newborn pups are on the beach now. The birth season is well under way. This mother looks sweet as she appears to cuddle this baby, but actually, she was restless and may have been in pain after his birth. She eventually calmed down and stopped mouthing him.

The live webcam makes it possible to watch from home. I haven't heard whether it has streamed any actual births yet.

Joan Crowder reports that the high king tides disrupted the season by making it difficult for pregnant females to find  the locations they like on the beach. High water forced the seals to crowd up along the edge of the cliffs, rather than find protection of an alpha male on the sand. I observed subadult males harassing that first mother and pup on the beach. Their attention was focused on the unique pair, who were not joined by additional newborns for several days. She certainly could have used some protection.

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