It’s Seal Watching Season in New York
When you think of what could be possibly living in the Hudson River, seals are probably not the first thing that comes to mind. Honestly, I would think some form of Loch Ness Monster lived in the Hudson before I thought seals were common.
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation shared on their social media pages this week, that this time of year is indeed seal-watching season. In the post they explain:
Seals are found in New York from late fall until late spring. Seals can be seen “hauling out,” or leaving the water to rest, on sandy beaches or rocks.
Hauling Out for seals is a lot like hanging out for humans. Apparently, it allows the seals to "regulate their body temperature" and it's an opportunity for seals to socialize. Hauling Out is also important for female seals during their birthing process.
Female seals will leave their seal pups on rocks or beaches while they return to the water for food. If you happen to see a seal pup on the rocks alone, leave it be. The DEC reports that human interaction could cause the " female abandoning her baby due to assumed danger.
Over the years there have been several seal sightings around the Hudson Valley in areas like Kingston and Poughkeepsie.
While I'm sure coming across a seal on the Hudson would be a shock to most, make sure to respect their space. The DEC recommends staying at 150 feet away from seals (talk about social distancing) and for only 30 minutes.
Remember "If a seal is aware of your presence, you’re too close."