Thursday, April 24, 2014

CALIFORNIA SEA LIONS FEAST BEFORE TRIP SOUTH

California Sea Lions are beginning the trip south from Puget Sound to breeding grounds, as there are no breeding areas in Washington State.  Usually most of the sea lions are gone from Puget Sound sometime in May.  The first ones to return will arrive in August.  Females have only rarely been seen is Washington waters and remain south during the winter months.
While here the sea lions feed on a variety of fish....they are opportunistic hunters.
The images below of several seal lions feeding on a very large school of herring were taken April 23rd in the Duwamish Head area of Alki in West Seattle.  Initially three individuals were feeding for about 2 hours on the same school but the word got out and the number of sea lions increased to at least 7.  Gulls joined the feeding sea lions and also increased in number as time went on....good news travels fast.
Also seen in the area were 2 transient Orcas......looking for harbor seals, porpoises or even sea lions to invite to lunch.  Two were seen again Thursday 4-24.

California Sea Lions (male)

Herring

Gulls on herring

Sea Lion parting herring school

Sea Lion parting herring school

Sea Lions feeding on herring
The Herring for Lunch Bunch
Napping after a big lunch

Stuffed Sea Lions




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