Grey seals

A guide to their lives and where to spot them

Lundy's Seals

Lundy is home to a breeding colony of around 60 Grey Seals (with up to double this number in the summer). They can be seen all around the island, particularly at their 'hauling-out' spots - favoured rocks and ledges for basking in the sun (marked on the map at the bottom of the page).

It's a pig...

The scientific name for the Grey Seal is Halichoerus grypus which means 'hook-nosed sea-pig'!

...and a cow

The female seal is called the cow. The male is called the bull. Bulls tend to be larger, heavier (on average 230 kg) and darker than cows. You may be able to tell them apart by their head profiles. Older bulls may also have scars from territorial disputes/fights.

Seal Seal
Hisses, Hoots and Hollering

Both sexes make a variety of noises including hisses and snarls. You may be able to hear the seal's hooting and roaring, especially if these are amplified by the echoing effect of a cave.


Seals can often be seen in the Devil's Kitchen and Surf Point, bathing and hauling out on rocks just offshore. The same seals also come into the Landing Bay from time to time for an inquisitive look at visitors!


Seal Spotting


Baby Grey Seals (pups) are born at preferred sites around the island, (see map) where they will be safe and undisturbed. As many as 25 pups may be born on Lundy each year. Many are born at the far end of sea caves.


Seals are often seen 'bottling' - staying upright with only their head showing above water (see picture at the top of this page). They can probably sleep in this position.


Around Lundy the seals' main source of food is fish such as Mackerel, Pollock and Wrasse, with the occasional crab and lobster.


Seal Facts


Seal drawings by Robert Irving.
Seal photographs by Andy Hunt.
Acknowledgements to Robert Irving and English Nature.