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Winter Residents: Harbor Seals

There is only one marine mammal common to Connecticut and that is the harbor seal. While the harbor seal is not usually a year round resident of the waters off the Constitution State, they like to come south to spend their winters in the warmer waters of Long Island Sound. As fall continues on look for the seals to be making their way into the sound. Boat tours such as Thimble Island Cruise’s out of Branford and Project Oceanology in Groton offer Seal Tours in the Spring once most of the seals have made there way down. If you don’t want to wait until Spring and are willing to drive over to Newport, RI then check out a Seal Cruise with Save the Bay. To get you excited to search for seals here are some facts about the harbor seal.

Harbor Seal Facts:

Males can weigh up to 250lbs and females 175lbs

Are between 5-6 feet long

Coloring is a blue-gray back with speckling

Live on both the East Coast and the West Coast of the United States

Prefer fish but also eat squid, octopus, shrimp, crabs, and clams

Connecticut’s harbor seals generally summer in Maine

Adults molt yearly after pupping season

They are social with each other but are shy with humans

Diving ranges have been reported to nearly 1500 ft in depth

Rest on land with their head and flippers elevated in a banana-like fashion

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