Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Hangin' In The Sea Cave

Last week while in Oregon, was also went to the largest Sea Lion cave in the world. This first picture here is the cave, where in the center, you can see the rock the sea lions are lounging on.

This shot here is the rookery, where all the mating action takes place:

This is a harem of "cows", which is what they call the female sea lions. Not very nice if you ask me, but if they don't mind, who amd I to say? But I guess when you weigh 600-700 pounds, that's a mighty accurate description. They are very far away at the very bottom of that cliff, so I did my best to zoom in on them.

Each harem, which numbers 15-20 cows, belongs to a Bull. The bull is what they call the male sea lion. HE should be called a cow, since he weighs on average, 1500 pounds. Some of them even weigh over 2,000 pounds! Now that's a ton of fun in one slithery body if you ask me. Each bull protects his harem from the other bulls by fighting with them on the ledges of the rookery.

This is from the Sea Lion web site: "Occasionally a young, strong bachelor succeeds in besting an older bull thereby acquiring the herd. The herd bulls do not leave their harems even for food for perhaps three months. Only the largest ocean waves can drive them from the ledge into the sea. Females display no loyalty and when a harem is broken by a storm, the bull may never recover all of his chosen mates. Therefore, much of his work involves keeping his "wives" from slipping away in search of food or because of high waves and rough ocean. Naturally, the bulls have lost weight and are exhausted by the end of the breeding season and they generally spend the remainder of the summer by themselves, resting and regaining their strength."

Here is what one of those fat ass bulls looks like:

This is the last photo I took, looking through the rocks at the light house across the way, which you can't see because it's all overcast and hazy. But it's there, trust me, I saw it through my binoculars. There were also some sea lions on the ledges below here and some herring gulls sitting on eggs in their nests.

We had seen sea lions on the wharfs in San Francisco, but seeing them in a cave like this was sort of cool. It was like the grotto at the Playboy mansion.

Except there were bulls and cows, not dogs (see #2) and bunnies.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Weekend In Wyoming
Ready For Nautical Knots
Australia Isn’t Far Enough Away For These Bitches To Hide
Texas Suicide


Stace said...

"fat ass bulls" -- LOL!

Gil said...

Did you ever post pictures from the Grotto at the Playboy Mansion? If yes, how about a link. Beautiful pictures.

Angela said...

Entertaining and educational. Great post!

Michelle | Bleeding Espresso said...

I've always loved sea lions...did they chatter a lot while you were there? Love that sound! In moderation, of course.