Manatee Love

A few days ago I noticed a commotion in the creek out back which I’ve come to recognize as a manatee visit. I got Jim and we went out back to take a look. We could tell that it was several manatees. Normally they graze on the mangroves by the creek banks, but on this day it was different.

They were away from the bank, constantly rolling and breaking the surface of the water.

One of the manatees appeared to have boat propeller injuries across its back.

We watched for ages, with my hubby kindly holding an umbrella over me so that I could take photos.

My neighbor Rick decided to get up close and personal to get his pictures.

I wondered if the manatee with the propeller marks was in distress and if the others were trying to help it out. I also thought maybe one of the manatees might be giving birth. I decided to call the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission to see if they had any idea what was going on.

As it turns out we were observing a “mating herd”, typical mating behavior for manatees. I was told that the female is surrounded by multiple males, and, not being very picky, may mate with several of them. This behavior can go on for hours, which it did.

I’ve been amazed at the number of manatee sightings we’ve had this year, considering that we didn’t see any in all of 2011. It’s really fun to spot them in our back yard.


About donnahuebsch

I'm a wife, a mom to an unschooling teenager, an animal lover, an artsy craftsy kind of person, & a DIYer. We're embarking on our BIGGEST do-it-yourself project yet - renovating an entire house!
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12 Responses to Manatee Love

  1. barb19 says:

    I’m glad you called the Wildlife Commission and found out what the manatees were up to – what a privilege to have witnessed something as rare as that, Donna! The photos are awesome.
    Going to reblog this if I may, it’s amazing!

  2. barb19 says:

    Reblogged this on Passionate About Pets and commented:
    To have been able to witness a rare sight such as this, as Donna did, is truly amazing!

  3. flyinggma says:

    I saw my first Manatee a year ago in Florida in an inlet area near the beaches at St. Pete. I couldn’t believe how large they were. We watched for a long while before it disappeared under the water and out of our sight. Didn’t get any great shots like these 🙂

    • donnahuebsch says:

      Flyinggma, thanks for stopping by and commenting! I love watching manatees – they fascinate me for some reason. You wouldn’t believe how many shots I took just to get 3 or 4 good pictures. My neighbor (in the water) said the same thing…thank goodness for digital cameras :o)

  4. Jonathan says:

    Hi, I am from Michigan and saw your post. Your neighbor Rick is my brother in law. He is a wonderful photographer and a film specialist. He will go to great lengths for the right pictures. Glad you got to witness such a spectacular event.

    • donnahuebsch says:

      Hi, Jonathan – how neat to hear that you’re Rick’s brother-in-law! I can see what you mean that he goes to great lengths for the right pictures 🙂 Marie and I stood there nervously watching him, hoping that he wouldn’t slip and drop his camera in the water, or that a water moccasin wouldn’t swim by!

  5. Came here from Barb’s blog. What a thrill for you to see them so close and for such a length of time. I would feel so blessed. I love the pic of your neighbour!

  6. This is one beautiful event. Just an exciting event and had me glued to my seat. Thanks to Barb’s reblogged for linking me to your post!

    • donnahuebsch says:

      Thanks for your comment, island traveler! Barb was very kind for reblogging my post. The creek has been unusually quiet for a couple of weeks…hopefully I will have some more pictures to share soon 🙂 For a look at some of our past visitors, you can click the “Wildlife” tab at the top of my blog.

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