Harbor Seals

Whales Tail Charters | Harbor Seals
Harbor Seal

Harbor seals are the most seen seals along Oregon’s coast. I like to take people into Whale Cove where there are 50-100 harbor seals resting on the rocks. Their average size is five feet in length; the adult males weigh around 200 pounds and females 170 pounds.

Most are bluish gray with black spots and irregular white rings and loops. They prefer the temperate, ice-free coastal waters of the North Pacific and North Atlantic oceans.

Harbor seals like to spend equal amounts of time on land and sea. They are graceful swimmers, but a little clumsy on land. They seldom venture far from water and can be seen resting on bay and estuary sandbars at low tide. When they are on land they move in a wriggling manner, pulling their bodies along with their short flippers.

Their favorite haul out areas are the rocks and reefs along coast. These areas are the hubs of their daily activity. It provides them a resting spot, reproductive activities, births, caring for the young, and the annual molt.

Seals can dive to 600 feet and remain underwater for 12-15 minutes. Unlike sea lions, they make little noise and are considered non-migratory. Their diet consists of herring, smelt, flatfishes, lampreys, sculpins, squid, and octopus. The lifespan of the harbor seal is about 20 years.