Morro Bay, Calif.- Morro Bay is a nature lover's paradise. Wintertime is the perfect setting to spot wildlife in Morro Bay, whether you are interested in the hundreds of different bird species that migrate through during colder months, or seeing cute sea otter pups during whelping season.
When visiting, it's crucial to enjoy the natural assets while also joining in the effort to protect them. This sustainable travel helps to keep the wildlife wild, and keep their habitats preserved for all future generations.
Morro Bay's Unique Nature:
A designated National Audubon Society's Important Bird Area, Morro Bay is a vital stop over for many sea and shore birds during their migrations. Although prevalent all year, winter affords the greatest variety of bird species to our area.
Morro Bay has an active sea otter population year-round. They tend to stick close to shore, making for excellent, and safe, viewing. Near South T-Pier, along the Harbor Walk, and next to Target Rock are some of the most popular spots to catch these Morro Bay sea'lebrities. You can help to keep the population healthy by not creating any disturbances – if the otters change their behavior or swim away, you're too close. Pupping occurs throughout the year, with a peak period of pupping October through January, and a secondary peak in March and April.
Under the surface
Lots of creatures call the bay home, and the majority of them reside just under the surface. The tide pools in North Morro Bay are a great place to observe these aquatic creatures up close without causing them any harm. For a more active experience, take a paddleboard or kayak nature tour with one of the rental companies. Local guides will show you exactly where to look and what you're looking at. You can also see and learn more about all the most common species online with this web guide.
Throughout the year a variety of whales swim off the coast of Morro Bay. Although sometimes visible from our beaches, a whale watching tour is the best way to experience these giants. Tours depart from the Embarcadero daily.
Monarch Butterfly Migration
Flying thousands of miles during their migration, Monarchs cluster together in the Morro Bay State Park Eucalyptus groves to stay warm and roost/rest. Usually visiting between December and March, it's a sight not to be missed!
Learn more about the natural environment and the animals that call Morro Bay home at the Museum of Natural History and the Morro Bay Estuary Nature Center.