The Jersey Shore is such a special region here in New Jersey. Colder weather aside, it's one of the most popular areas that people from all corners of the state visit every summer.

In fact, those from out of state also visit the Shore region during the warmer months. There's just something about it that draws people from all over, and we like it that way.

But outside the concerts, games, food, and rides, New Jersey's coastline also has some incredible wildlife. From whales, birds, sea turtles, and more, there's never a shortage of sights at the Jersey Shore.

What some might not realize, however, is that summer isn't the only time of year to catch wildlife migrating to and from New Jersey. In fact, winter can be just as exciting.

And that's precisely the case when it comes to seals. During the winter months, species such as harbor seals and grey seals migrate to the Great Garden State.

A 40 pound female harbor seal is the only current tenant at the Marine Mammal Stranding Center in Brigantine
Harbor Seal
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Those who live locally along the coast may see them more regularly now. But for those who don't visit, it's a sight not often seen.

If you see the seals on the beach, however, it's important not to approach them as they could get aggressive. Your best bet is to keep your distance to avoid having them feel threatened.

But what if you were able to see them up close from the safety of a boat? Or even better, what if you can see them actually migrating in their natural habitat?

Luckily for New Jersey, there's an option for that. How about seeing them, possibly up close, on a special ecology cruise?

A Seastreak ferry
A Seastreak ferry (Seastreak)
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That's exactly what Seastreak is offering this winter. Between January 27 through March 17, Seastreak is hosting a special seal and bird ecology cruise, departing from their Highlands, NJ, port.

Not only will you have an opportunity to see the many harbor and grey seals that visit New Jersey's waterways every winter, but you'll also have an opportunity to learn from wildlife experts.

And it's not just seals you'll have an opportunity to see. The Sandy Hook and Hudson Bay region is also a favorite spot for migrating birds.

seagulls flying freely on the sky at sunset, leadership, closeup
oatawa
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According to Seastreak, "You will get the chance to see a wide variety of shorebirds and seabirds, including northern gannets, loons, scoters, double-crested cormorants, grebes, brants, and gulls." But along with the Harbor and Grey seals, your best window of opportunity to see it all will only last through mid-March.

It is a very unique experience for everyone in The Garden State to take advantage of. Click/tap here for more info, including how you can get your tickets for this very special event.

Incredible Wildlife Oil Paintings From Casper Artist Justin Hayward

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The best of animal encounters — real and a few rumored — from around New Jersey.

Gallery Credit: Erin Vogt

9 Potential Pets Up for Adoption at the Toms River Animal Shelter

Toms River Mayor Dan Roderick waived adoption fees at the township's animal shelter to help some of the animals find their "forever home." The shelter is located at 235 Oak Avenue and is open by appointment Sunday through Saturday 1 p.m. - 4 p.m. Appointments can be made by calling 732-341-1000, ext. 8450.

Pet narratives provided by the Toms River Animal Shelter

Gallery Credit: Dan Alexander

The above post reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 Sunday morning host Mike Brant. Any opinions expressed are his own.