Offshore Birding & Wildlife Adventure

Trip Leader: Michael Brothers (Marine Science Center)
Co-leaders: Julie Albert, Jim Danzenbaker, David Hartgrove, Mitchell Harris, Michael O'Brien and David Simpson
January 30, 2017
7:00am - 1:00pm
$110.00 / limited to 58 registrants
Meet at the Sea Spirit at Sea Love Marina in front of Down the Hatch Restaurant, 4884 Front St., Ponce Inlet, FL 32127; 386-763-4388,
Please arrive 20 minutes early. Dress warmly, bring full rain gear and wear waterproof shoes! Rain gear will help cut the wind and keep you warmer.

This trip will stay close to shore, targeting shrimp boats and the birds that follow them. Last year we moved from shrimp boat to shrimp boat, marveling at the tremendous numbers of birds behind each one. Our chumming behind the boat resulted in a never-ending crowd of gulls, terns, pelicans and gannets to watch from amazingly close quarters. In all we saw 8 gull (including Iceland Gull) and 5 tern species along with the glorious aerial spectacle of diving pelicans and gannets. Our targets for the trip will be all of the offshore wildlife we can find. That includes jellyfish and fish. There is a very good chance that we will see dolphins. Sea turtles and Humpback Whales are a possibility as are North Atlantic Right Whales. This area is within the right whales' wintertime calving grounds. Whale researcher, Julie Albert, holds a research permit that allows any vessel she is on to get closer than the required 1500 foot buffer when a right whale is spotted. If we are fortunate enough to find whales, we will be able to get closer to them. A host of birding experts will be on hand to answer your questions about the birds. One way to attract birds nearer to the boat is to chum. Chum is produced using a number of food items, such as mackerel and mullet, combined with fish oil. The chum is periodically tossed overboard to attract the birds as well as other sea creatures. We will definitely be chumming. So, come along – every trip is different. There is no telling what we will see!

Sponsored in part by the Brevard County Board of County Commissioners through the Brevard Cultural Alliance and the Space Coast Office of Tourism.

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