Huge Aggregation of California Sea Lions near Heceta Head

For several months this past fall and winter, thousands of California sea lions (Zalophus californianus) assembled on and just offshore of a remote beach just to the south of Heceta Head on the central Oregon coast. It is unknown specifically what attracted so many of these animals to this site, although it is clear that enormous amounts of prey fish (possibly herring, squid, hake, sardine or anchovies) must have been available to support such huge numbers of sea lions. This area is also home to several hundred Steller sea lions (Eumetopias jubatus), which use nearby Sea Lion Caves as a regular haul out.


All photos by Craig Hayslip, OSU Marine Mammal Institute

Heceta Zcs 1

Heceta Zcs 2

Heceta Zcs 3