Thank You, Harbor Seals!
Photos courtesy Narragansett Bay Reserve.
Although today is what passes for “winter balmy” on Narragansett Bay—low forties, clear, a light wind—it’s still cold enough to remind local snowbirds of the human variety to fly south. If they do, they might miss seeing one of the state’s increasingly popular winter residents, the harbor seal.
Coming in from destinations north every fall, these “dogs of the sea” love Narragansett Bay in the winter, when waters are chilly and flush with herring. In recent years, harbor seal populations in Rhode Island have grown as more northern species are traveling further south to state waters.
Watching harbor seals sun themselves on rocks and play in the water just feet from the shores of our Narragansett Bay Reserve is an inspiring sight. For Reserve staff, their arrival not only marks a change in the season, it is a signal that other migrants will soon to be coming to use the Bay’s many protected coves, dunes, and marshes as a winter refuge. It’s also a sign of hope: harbor seals would not make Narragansett Bay their winter home without clean water and a healthy ecosystem.
Thank you, harbor seals! Your presence on Narragansett Bay inspires us to work harder to meet the challenges ahead for 2019.
Have you had an encounter with a harbor seal or another critter at one of our Reserves? We’d love to hear about it! Share your Reserve story.