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Animals (Wild and Domestic)

The Sea Ranch biological communities are home to an abundance of wildlife, including off shore. In the fall, gray whales parade on their 6,000-mile annual migration south to breedings ground in Baja, California, and in the spring, north to arctic waters.

In the rocky zone between low and high tides, a rich variety of marine life flourishes on the ocean's edge. Tidepools harbor a complex association of plants and animals, including sea urchin, shrimp, and seaweed. You are invited to observe, but leave what you see, for this intertidal community is fragile and easily disturbed. Taking specimens from designated marine preserve is illegal.

Harbor seal's effortless float. Photo copyright Jeanne GadolHarbor seals sun themselves on offshore rocks and ledges protected by tidal waters. On the beach, seal pups have a better chance of surviving if left untouched by humans. Seal haul-out areas should be viewed from a distance that leaves seal families undisturbed.

Forest, meadow, and riparian communities shelter black-tailed deer, raccoon, fox, jackrabbit, skunk, opossum, gray squirrel, and chipmunk. Occasionally, bobcat, cougar, wild pig, and even a bear or two are visible browsing through the Ranch. Feeding wild animals can make them dependent on humans for food, contrary to The Sea Ranch tenet of leaving wild things wild.

The splendid variety of winged species makes bird-watching a pleasure at Sea Ranch. Common to the area are gull, cormorant, California quail, Steller's jay, bluebird, black phoebe, sparrow, finch, woodpecker, marsh hawk, meadowlark, white-tailed kite, kestrel, osprey, hummingbird, red-tailed hawk, robin, swallow, raven, wild turkey, black oystercatcher, black turnstone, and turkey vulture. Seasonally, the Monarch butterfly may appear in some hedgerows.

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