Meet A Manatee: Nick

Nicknamed “Crazy Nick,” he is known for heading north when all the other manatees are heading south.

Date: October 25, 2019

Nick the manatee
Nick usually makes several appearances when he visits the warm-water sanctuary at Blue Spring State Park each winter.

Manatees are somewhat migratory animals. In the summer months, they travel around Florida’s rivers and coastal areas, and some may even venture outside the state. But in the winter, when the water temperatures cool, manatees start heading south to warm water refuge areas. All except for Nick, that is. He would be the manatee heading north.

Nick was nicknamed “Crazy Nick” by manatee researchers because he was known for being unpredictable. One winter, Nick spent two weeks traveling north from Blue Spring State Park – located near Daytona Beach – to Jacksonville, Florida. Another time, when the majority of Blue Spring manatees went to Lake Beresford, Nick went to Mud Lake. The only time Nick went to Lake Beresford was when all the other manatees went to Mud Lake!

Nick the manatee
This photo of Nick shows the scars on his back and tail that help identify him.

We know this information about Nick because he has been “tagged,” meaning that he wore a tracking device. This involves a belt that is attached around the base of his tail and attached to a flexible tether and floating transmitter. Signals sent from the transmitter are received by polar orbiting satellites and analyzed to yield accurate location data on the manatee. The information from the tracking device tells researchers about manatee behavior and habitat use, which can be used to help protect them. Even without being tagged, Nick is identifiable to researchers because of his unique pattern of scars left behind from boat strikes. Nick usually makes several appearances at Blue Spring each winter, and he is more social than he used to be, spending time with other manatees at Blue Spring. Check our Blue Spring web cam for updates and to see Nick and other manatees from the Blue Spring population.

Nick is an ambassador for all manatees, and when you adopt him, you are helping all manatees to survive. Each person who adopts Nick will receive a full-color photo, biography, and adoption certificate, as well as a membership handbook and subscription to The Manatee Zone, a newsletter featuring updates on the adopted manatees when they are sighted, and Paddle Tales, Save the Manatee Club’s bi-monthly e-newsletter. For more information about adopting Nick, go to our Adopt-A-Manatee® page, or call 1-800-432-JOIN (5646).

View video of Nick compiled from his visits to Blue Spring State Park. Nick was first identified in 1977. Researchers believe manatees can live to be 60 years or more, although most manatees do not live that long because of the many perils of living in the wild. (Video © Save the Manatee Club.)