Seasons in the Sea - A month-by-month guide to Central California sea life

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Monterey Bay; Image credit: NASA


for June

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The party gets into full swing

By June upwelling events are typically becoming a little less frequent, with more calm, overcast days bringing in the period of "June gloom." But many algae are at their most luxuriant. Microscopic larvae are hunted by microscopic predators, which have begun to reproduce in response to the yearly pulse of food.

Schools of small fishes are still abundant in Monterey Bay in June. Crabs and other tide-pool are in the midst of a frenzy of reproductive activity that peaks in June and July.

As storms pass north of the Central Coast and the wave climate becomes relatively benign, sand moves toward shore and beaches become wider. However, strong northwest winds sometimes generate wind waves that can cause minor beach erosion, but the muscular swells of winter are but a memory.

By June, most of the seabirds that nest locally have already given birth and are feeding their young. By the end of the month, the newly hatched young of some species will leave the nest and be trained by their parents to find and hunt food.

You won't see many beach birds in June because most of them are up in Canada or Alaska, mating, nesting, and giving birth. Aside from a few nesting snowy plovers, the few birds you may see in June are stay-behinds who are too young or are have chosen not to migrate for one reason or another.

In June, the spring migrant birds have left the coastal estuaries. But you may still see terns, gulls, and cormorants foraging and feeding their young.

    All text © Kim Fulton-Bennett                About            Contact            Disclaimer