Breakwater spring melee

See my new post on the fence blocking the view of the cormorants at Breakwater blues.
Breakwater by CMaParsonsNow is the time when California sea lions and Brandt’s cormorants battle for control of the Monterey Breakwater. The breakwater is a favored hauling-out hangout for male sea lions during most of the year, but in the spring, Brandt’s cormorants gather for displaying, mating, nesting and rearing young (pelagic and double-crested cormorants choose more private rookery sites). SeaLionTrio by CMaParsons

Right now you can watch the cormorants starting to stake territory with nests while slowing moving the sea lions off the rocks. (It’s a king-of-the-hill game and eventually sea lions lose to the jabs of the cormorants’ pointy bills.)

CormorantPair by CMaParsonsOver the next several months, if this year is typical, the top of the breakwater will change from mostly brown (sea lions) to nearly all black and white (cormorants and guano-covered nests). You can get a great close-up view by taking a short walk from the parking lot down the paved lane to the end where a fence separates people and wildlife.

Surfbirds

Surfbirds

While you stroll, observe the divers and anglers, surfbirds, black turnstones, an occasional sea otter and the spectacular view.

 

Black turnstone

Black turnstone

Sea otter

Sea otter

 

 

 

 

About Chris Parsons

Science writer/educator exploring ocean coastlines and sharing via words, photos and stories to connect, inspire and conserve.
This entry was posted in California coastline, Monterey Bay, Rocky shore and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Breakwater spring melee

  1. Your posts always make me want to live a bit closer to Monterey 🙂

    • This is a wonderful place to live (I treasure it), but it’s challenging for many to make a living here, or just about anywhere along the Central California coast.
      P.S. I love the creativity of your nonsensical website.

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