Female protests intrusion. 2 of 3 photos of Male Northern Elephant Seal (M. angustirostris) at Piedras Blancas, San Simeon, CA 09 Jan 2010.
Female protests intrusion. 2 of 3 photos of Male Northern Elephant Seal (M. angustirostris) at Piedras Blancas, San Simeon, CA 09 Jan 2010. On this day a number of births were witnessed, and some sparse unwanted mating attempts. Photo by Michael "Mike" L. Baird, mike [at} mikebaird d o t com, flickr.bairdphotos.com; Canon 1D Mark III, Canon 600mm f/4.0 Lens with Circular Polarizer (it had a significant effect on reducing skin glare in the overcast mid-day light) on heavy Gitzo GZGT5540LS tripod with Wimberley Gimbal Head II on leveling base. This was taken during a Photomorrobay Yahoo! Group Meetup where 15 of us came together to share the moment. Even thought the great early morning light (we started at 6:15 MA) was not to be, the experience was awesome.
See Friends of the Elephant Seal at www.elephantseal.org/ for all you'll need to know about this setting. www.elephantseal.org/ calendar www.elephantseal.org/Rookery/calendar.htm says in part "The adult animals come on to the beach in the winter for the birthing and breeding season, with adult males arriving in late November or early December when they contest for a dominant position on the beach. The males are followed by the adult females in mid-December to late January. As the females come on the beach they become, in effect, part of a "harem" controlled by one of the alpha males. They give birth to their pup within a few days of their arrival on the beach and nurse them for approximately four weeks. Toward the end of the nursing period the females go into estrous and are bred, usually with the alpha bull although other males will attempt to mate as the opportunity arises. Shortly after the mating and at the end of the nursing period, the female will go back to sea.