For about 5 minutes we move slowly through the harbor, and then the naturalist calls out "2 o'clock - seal!" Up ahead on the starboard (right) side of the boat we see a tiny head in the water - it looks like a cocker spaniel puppy swimming! It turns its head this way and that, then arches its smooth grayish tan back and slips quickly beneath the surface. It is so small, maybe 135 to 150 cm (4 or 5 feet) long. It must be a harbor seal.
Can you find it's picture?
Pick the Harbor Seal (Phoca vitulina)
Turning the corner around an island in the harbor we can now see open ocean in front of us. But the birds on the rocks around the island catch our attention. It's a very odd sight. Big black birds with long necks are standing on the rocks, and some have their huge wings completely stretched out as if to fly, yet they remain just standing there, almost looking like scarecrows! Are these gulls too? Or are they larger diving birds called cormorants. Which bird is a cormorant?
Pick the Cormorant
A lot more of these cormorants are in the harbor water. They pop to the
surface, swim a little bit, and then dive for fish.