Marine Mammals

  • Harbor Seal


    Harbor seals are easily seen bobbing in the waters off the coast of Washington. They can be identified by their smooth spotted skin varying in color from gray to brown or even black. The the cobble and sand beach of the Spit is an important spot for seals to haul out of the water and rest or give birth to pups. One of the greatest threats to the harbor seal population is human disturbance, particularly during pupping season. Seal pups resting on shore should always be left alone as their mothers are likely waiting off shore and will not return until humans are clear of the area.

  • Orca Whale

    List-ORCA-JC Winkler

    Orcas can occasionally be seen swimming off of Dungeness Spit and even more rarely come into Dungeness Harbor and Bay.  They are black with a white patch near their eye, a white throat, and a white patch on the belly.  They are most commonly seen in the Strait from spring to fall.  Dall's porpoise are sometimes confused with juvenile orcas due to similar coloration and size.  However, the Dall's porpoise doesn't have the white eye patch and has a bigger belly patch.

  • Northern Elephant Seal

    List-ELSE-J Kirkhart

    Ranging in color from brown to gray, elephant seals can occasionally be seen resting on the beach at Dungeness.  Males have a distinctively large, elephantine nose.  Molting elephant seals are frequently reported as injured, but they are simply going through the yearly process of replacing their skin and hair.