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Marine Science Center plans ocean birding trip May 19

Posted On: April 6, 2018

Experience the excitement of ocean birding during a Gulf Stream adventure Saturday, May 19.

The trip, sponsored by the Friends of the Marine Science Center, will meet at 5:15 a.m. at the dock between Rusty’s and Milliken’s Reef restaurants at 670 Glen Cheek Drive, Cape Canaveral. The boat departs at 6 a.m. and will return at 6 p.m.

Led by birding expert Michael Brothers of the Marine Science Center, participants will travel to the center of the Gulf Stream, about 60 miles offshore. They will ride the Canaveral Princess, an 85-foot, boat with excellent observation areas on the upper deck, bow and stern.

Because the spring migration is coming to an end in the Gulf Stream, this trip holds high probability of participants encountering numerous pelagic species including black-capped petrel. In addition, migrants such as Cory’s, great, sooty and Audubon shearwaters, all three storm petrels - leach, Wilson’s and band-rumped), tropicbirds, long-tailed Jaeger and Arctic tern are possibilities.

Previous explorations of this area at this time of year encountered black-capped petrels on every trip.

  • In 2011, participants encountered white-tailed and red-billed tropicbirds.
  • In 2012, participants encountered the largest group of Arctic terns ever seen in Florida – 62. In addition, there were several black-capped petrels, all three storm petrels, all three Jaegers, and even three white-tailed tropicbirds.
  • In 2009, participants encountered a south polar skua and a white-tailed tropicbird.
  • In 2016, participants encountered Florida’s first European storm petrel.

The cost is $265 per person. To register, contact Brothers at 386-304-5543 or mbrothers@volusia.org.

Send a check, made payable to Friends of the Marine Science Center, to Marine Science Center, 100 Lighthouse Drive, Ponce Inlet, FL 32127. Participants should bring food and beverages, sea sickness medicine and sunscreen. Food service will not be available on the boat.