Sound the Alarm

Sound the Alarm

Alpha male, some cows, and a few juvenile Steller Sea Lions (Eumetopias jubatus) on their rocky haulout or rookery in Resurrection Bay, Alaska, react to the photographer drifting within encroachment of their zone of comfort.

EF 200-400mm @ 400mm; f/13 @ 1;250 sec, ISO 800; Auto exposure , TV mode; Partial metering; Auto WB


Beautiful shot of the Sea Lions, Bob. Love the colors.

Thank you, Shirley. Below is the response of the juvenile members of the colony to the adults urgent calls.

Juvenile Stellar Sea Lions (Eumetopias jubatus), reacting to the adults alarm call, begin to dive into the bay to evade the perceived danger voiced by the adults. The seals have a nictitating membrane which covers their eyes when they enter the sea. The two lowest diving seals eyes are distinctly covered by these membranes and appear somewhat opaque as compared to the other members of the colony. Eventually only adults were remaining on the rocks.

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Great setting and wonderful frame!
In the first frame the anchoring Lions on the both sides are really holding the image very well and the second one is more dynamic…with a splash !

Thank you Jagdeep. It was amazing to see how many juveniles, previously hidden behind the rocky precipice, were in the colony. It was like watching lemmings throw themselves off a cliff. Astonishing! It went on for quite a few minutes. The captain of the boat I was on, after I showed her a few images of the divers, said she had never witnessed nor seen photos of that behavior.

The colors work so well, very nice, thank you. I am curious what the danger on land was…I thought it was their safe place.

Thank you, Steven. Their haulout is where they seek safety from aquatic predators. The Sea Lions perceived me and the menacing huge eye (my camera lens) as a danger and I was not “in the water” from their point of view. Their escape, therefore, was to enter the water.