New York’s most abundant seal is the harbor seal (Phoca vitulina), which can be found in the state’s marine waters from late fall to late spring. Harbor seals can range in color from brown, tan, or gray to silvery-white.
The best time to watch for seals is during the day. Good places to look for seals are Fire Island National Seashore or Montauk Point State Park.
Please do not disturb seals if you see them resting along the shore. Bring your binoculars and you may be rewarded with the sight of a seal resting in a rocky area.
If you suspect a seal is sick or injured, please call the New York Stranding Hotline at (631) 369-9829 to report the animal.
Photo of harbor seal courtesy U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.
Arlene Steinberg says
We are so fortunate to have such a delightful variety of wildlife. We can repay our enjoyment of them by not harrassing them and instead, appreciating and respecting them.
Below, my favorite quote from the wonderful Henry Beston, renowned American writer and naturalist, acknowledged as one of the fathers of modern environmental movement. His sense of compassion and love for his environment, animals and nature are reflected in his work, thoughts and views.
“We need another and a wiser and perhaps a more mystical concept of animals. Remote from universal nature and living by complicated artifice, man in civilization surveys the creature through the glass of his knowledge and sees thereby a feather magnified and the whole image in distortion. We patronize them for their incompleteness, for their tragic fate for having taken form so far below ourselves. And therein do we err. For the animal shall not be measured by man. In a world older and more complete than ours, they move finished and complete, gifted with the extension of the senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear. They are not brethren, they are not underlings: they are other nations, caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendour and travail of the earth.”
― Henry Beston, The Outermost House: A Year of Life on the Great Beach of Cape Cod