There was a seal spotting in Upstate New York!

No, no, no! Not that kind of seal! An actual seal found in Troy, NY! It's not uncommon for there to be seals in New York State, but they are mostly found near the New York Bight, not this far north. The New York Bight is the geological identification applied to a roughly triangular indentation, regarded as a bight, along the Atlantic coast of the United States that extends northeasterly from Cape May Inlet in New Jersey to Montauk Point on the eastern tip of Long Island.

Seals Are Common to New York, Just Not to Troy, NY

According to NYS DEC, seals are found in New York from late fall until late spring, with the highest concentration generally occurring around April. Seals "haul out" - or leave the water to rest on sandy beaches or rocks - to regulate their body temperature, socialize, give birth, and molt. Up to five species can be seen locally, but harbor, gray, and harp seals are the most common.

  • Harbor seals are the most abundant and are easily recognizable by their round head and blunt snout. They haul out in rocky areas and on beaches and are known for their resting "banana" position. They eat fish, shellfish, and crustaceans, which are especially important for nursing mothers during the 4 to 6 weeks they are with their pups.
  • Gray seals have a "horse-like" appearance, especially as adults. They sometimes share areas with harbor seals and can dive up to 1,500 feet for one hour. Pups are very vocal to help their mothers find them. Gray seals eat an array of fish, squid, octopus, and crabs.
  • Harp seals are largely an Arctic species, like the hooded and ringed seals that are more rarely seen in New York, they are present here each year in small numbers. They can be seen within the New York City area and farther up the Hudson River. Adults molt each spring while they eat small species of fish like capelin and invertebrates. They are capable of diving up to 1,000 feet for 16 minutes.

The Seal of Troy, NY

The video went viral this week. The video was initially taken by Daniel Barbero. Daniel's original post on Facebook has gained over 70,000 views. Daniel said, "Crazy sighting, I’ve been fishing here for 20 yrs and this is the first time I seen a seal in Troy NY." The repost by Around Troy and Two Buttons Deep has over 1 million views on Instagram alone.

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