Wednesday, June 11, 2014

A few foggy mornings in Morro Harbor

So like I said in the last post, I had a week with a 600mm F4 lens. I tried to get out as much as possible. Day 2 and 3 of the lens was spent in Morro Bay with the sea otters and other harbor wildlife.

I'll start this post with a photo of a cormorant. There were a few cormorants fishing and coming up with fish after fish! I sometimes wonder where all of that food goes!?! Sea otters are not the only ones who eat a whole lot of food. Double-crested cormorants can eat up to a pound of fish per day!

Double-crested cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus) with a plainfin midshipman (Porichthys notatus).

The rest of the photos are of sea otters. There are many reasons why I like sea otters, but I can tell you why, when I am not working, I am watching otters- they are always interesting! Below are some of my favorite sea otter behaviors. There are a few of my favorites missing, but if I could see them all in one day, it wouldn't be as fun!
Sea otter (Enhydra lutris) mom and pup resting.

Sea otter (Enhydra lutris) mom and pup. Well, hello to you too!

Two young sea otters (Enhydra lutris) in a bit of a brawl.

Sea otter (Enhydra lutris) with a sheep crab (Loxorhynchus grandis)

The next two photos are part of a behavior that shows that all animals find ways to cheat the system. Prey stealing is a common thing with sea otters, but commonly we see males stealing from females (yet another reason why I would never want to be a female sea otter!). But this particular steal that is shown below was one female stealing from another! It is not that uncommon, but I am always surprised when I see it. 
Sea otter (Enhydra lutris) with a sheep crab (Loxorhynchus grandis) that is about to be stolen by another otter.

The moment after the steal. The prey-less otter is in the foreground. Kind of looks disheartened.