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

Seasonal activities of selected
marine mammals on the Central California Coast

Jump to:    Whales     Dolphins and porpoises     Seals and sea lions    Sea otters

Key to table shading:
Organism likely to be present Organism may be present Few or no individuals present


 

Whales - yearly timelines

Jan/Feb Mar Apr May June July Aug Sept Oct Nov/Dec
Gray whale   (Eschrichtius robustus)
Peak S.
migration
Migrating
S. and N.
Peak N.
migration
Late N.
migration
Feed in
Arctic
    S. migration
in Dec
Orca (killer whale)   (Orcinus orca))
Hunt gray
whales
Hunt gray
whales
Hunt gray
whales
Humpback whale   (Megaptera novaeangliae)
First arrivals First arrivals Feeding Feeding Feeding Peak pops
in MBay
Migrate
to south
Blue whale   (Balaenoptera musculus)
        First
arrivals
Peak pops Peak pops Migrate
to south
 
 
Jan/Feb Mar Apr May June July Aug Sept Oct Nov/Dec

 


 

Dolphins and porpoises - yearly timelines

Jan/Feb Mar Apr May June July Aug Sept Oct Nov/Dec
Dall's porpoise   (Delphinus capensis)        Harbor porpoise   (Phocoena phocoena)
First arrivals Migrate north Peak pops,
give birth?
Peak pops     Migrate south
Pacific white-sided dolphin (Lagenorhynchus obliquidens)
Risso's dolphin   (Grampus griseus)        Long-beaked common dolphin   (Delphinus capensis)
Congregate
near shore
Leave area Give birth? Arrive
from south
Peak pops Peak pops Congregate
near shore;
 
Jan/Feb Mar Apr May June July Aug Sept Oct Nov/Dec

 


 

Seals and sea lions - yearly timelines

Jan/Feb Mar Apr May June July Aug Sept Oct Nov/Dec
California sea lion   (Zalophus californianus)
Adult males
head S.
Juveniles
arrive
Peak in
juveniles
Pupping
in S. Cal
Adult males
return
Peak in
adult males
Peak in
adult males
 
Harbor seal   (Phoca vitulina)
  Females
gather
Peak
pupping
Pupping,
nursing
Weaning,
training
Mating,
moulting
Moulting
Northern elephant seal   (Mirounga angustirostris)
Pupping,
mating
Adults
leave
Pups
leave
Adults
moult
Pups
return
Adults
arrive
Steller sea lion   (Eumetopias jubatus)
    First
arrivals
Females
arrive
Pupping Pups
weaning
Males leave Fems& pups leave
 
Jan/Feb Mar Apr May June July Aug Sept Oct Nov/Dec

 


 

Sea otter - yearly timeline

Jan/Feb Mar Apr May June July Aug Sept Oct Nov/Dec
Sea otter   (Enhydra lutris)
Peak
pupping
Pupping,
nursing
Weaning,
training
Peak
mating
Peak
mating
Pupping
 
Jan/Feb Mar Apr May June July Aug Sept Oct Nov/Dec
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