As friends and family are planning to travel many miles to reunite with loved ones for the holidays this year, here on the coast we are reminded of the great winter migrations that are already underway for marine mammals.  While the southward migration of the gray whales to Baja California immediately comes to mind, the less visible migration of the elephant seals is also underway, and soon they will be arriving at California beaches for their breeding season.

The haul out of the elephant seals on the beaches of Año Nuevo State Park allows us to bear witness to the greatest events of their lives: massive adult males vying to become an alpha of a harem, females giving birth to pups, females mating with alpha males and the occasional opportunistic sneaker male that has been waiting along the periphery of the rookery, and weaned pups learning to control their buoyancy before they embark on their first migration.



Once again, Coastside State Parks Association, Año Nuevo State Park, and the treasured volunteer docents are excited to co-host the Seal Adventures and Sunrise Photography Tours to raise money for the parks.  These two events are scheduled every February at the peak of the breeding season and offer our visitors and donors the opportunity to arrive before normal park hours and extend their observation time at the best viewing areas. And, of course, volunteer naturalists and parks staff will be there to answer your questions and help you focus in on and interpret the various interactions playing out in front of you. 


For more information about these events and how you can purchase your tickets, please click the links below.

Seal Adventures

Sunrise Photography Tours

Article written by Arriane Orr, Coastside State Parks Association Board Member