Western Isles
 Western Isles of Scotland

Seal Pups

Seal Pups: Grey Seal Pup

Grey Seal Pup

Halichoerus grypus

Photograph © Debbie Bozkurt
Benebecula - Outer Hebrides (Western Isles)
29th October, 2006

Grey Seal Pup or Common Seal Pup? What month you saw it

Seal pups of two species are found around the coastline of the Western Isles, common seal pups which are usually born in June and July, and grey seal pups which are usually born in October and November.


  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec
Grey Seal pups born                 * ** *** *
Common seal pups born         * ** * *        




There are exceptions, and to identify which of the two species a seal pup is we need to estimate the age of the pup we are looking at.


Estimating the Age of a Seal Pup

Umbilicus is still wet. Very newborn seal pup - less than 3 days
Umbilicus is dry and shriveled New in the world - 4 to 7 days old
Pelt is white Under 3 weeks (not weaned yet)
Pelt is grey 4 weeks plus (weaned)
Length less than 3 feet Seal born this year
Length more than 4 feet Seal at least 1 year old






The photograph of a seal pup above was taken on the 29th of October, as it still has a white pelt it was probably born no earlier than the 7th of Ocober.

By the 7th of October most of the common seal pups have already shed their white birth fur and are looking more like small versions of adult common seals.

Going by the pelt colour at the date the seal pup above was seen, it is probably a grey seal pup.


More than any other technique, when you see it is the easy key to probable identification.


Look at another picture of a cute seal pup and try different identification technique.

Grey Seal Pup or Common Seal Pup?

Pupping Sites in the Western Isles
Head Shape Seal Pups and their Mothers
Size, Coat and Markings Abandoned or Injured Seal Pups
When you saw it  
Where you saw it  


Debbie's online photo album

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