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Clapper Rail

Photographed at Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, Florida on February 20, 2010.

Clapper Rail

Reddish Egret

Little Blue Heron

Florida Scrub-Jay

Northern Gannet

A Migrating 'Northern Right Whale' about 1/2 mile offshore

From December to March Canaveral National Seashore, (MINWR), on the East Coast of Central Florida is host to the Northern Right Whale. The Whales come to the shores off the east coast to calve and rest until they make their way back north to the feeding grounds of the Northern Atlantic.

During the winter, pregnant females travel to the warm waters of the Georgia and Florida Coasts – to the only known Northern Right Whale calving area in the world – to give birth. From spring to fall the whales congregate in the northwestem Atlantic feeding and courting.

The maximum length of the right whales is about 60 feet, and the maximum weight is slightly more than 100 tons. They feed on large schools of crustaceans, specifically copepods and krill, and may feed on small fish near the ocean floor.

The Right Whale got its name because it was the ”right” whale to hunt – it is slow moving and floats after being killed. It is the most endangered species of whale off of the U. S. Coasts. It was the first whale hunted by American whalers, and it was so depleted that it has not recovered despite being protected for over 50 years.  Less than 300 Northern Right Whales exist today.

Laughing Gull

Wood Stork

Eastern Towhee

Brown Pelican Preening

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