Saturday, September 7, 2013

A Special Treat from Niihau (not Nihoa) my bad!

Our good friend Kel and Lauray made another trek over to Niihau and saw these two critters... (I asked permission to share this photo here....)  What I find amazing about this pic is the little one.... doesn't seem to be a nursing pup and is super small as a weaner.... perhaps a yearling... BUT still really tiny.
Would love to hear peoples comments!


Anonymous said...

Hi Donna. We saw this pup on the island of Niihau. Going to Nihoa would have been a treat too! ;) We found it rather odd that the critter was so small and young looking, yet it had scars and was green. The beach that we landed at is called Nonopapa. There were two seals at this beach during our time there. The small one was hauled out and resting on one side of the beach, and the other one was about 50 yards away. The small seal did not seem injured or ill, although a friend of ours said she noticed it breathing heavily at one point when was asleep. Neither seal was tagged or bleached. About two hours after our arrival the larger seal, who had earlier head into the open ocean for a swim returned and swam by us as were snorkeling. It hauled out next to the smaller seal barked loudly and the little one awoke...startled...the larger seal promptly left...and the pup went for a swim. Fantastic experience! No crowds of people bothering awesome to see them relaxing and not being disturbed or harassed. :)

iwatch said...

This animal looks wonderful, needs to be protected

Donna said...

Sorry about the mistake in the title... I ALWAYS mix the two up even though I know the difference. Thanks Lauray... :-) for keeping me honest.

Rachel said...

Hi Donna,

Looks like a yearling (or young) to me. The yearlings in the NWHI are usually quite a bit smaller than the weaners - so the smallest seals other than pups that you'll usually see. Makes sense if you think about all the fat of a weaner, but then losing it as the seal gets a little older and trying to find food. The fur and green also indicates an older seal.

- Rachel

Donna said...

Thanks Rachel.... I saw John yesterday and he pretty much said the same. So interesting how our little guys here on the main islands are larger in size even when they lose their weaner weight.