Support for the Manatee Webcams at Blue Spring State Park was made possible by a donation to Save the Manatee Club as a memorial gift in honor of the late Mrs. Norma Norton, a Florida resident who cared deeply for manatees.
Please Note: Manatee season has not yet started at Blue Spring State Park. We are currently streaming previously recorded footage. You can also scroll down the page to see other manatee videos from the web cam. Any people seen in the videos are researchers or other individuals with special permission.
Latest Manatee Update
October 28 – November 4, 2018:
Cora Berchem, Manatee Researcher & Multimedia Specialist, and I did a rehearsal of a manatee count in October, and now it is November! I should have done a rehearsal of the blog as well. The river temperatures have been in the low 70s Fahrenheit (low 20s Celsius) at Racy Point in Putnam County, near Palatka, Florida. Racy Point is 60-some miles north, so the temps are more like mid-70s at Blue Spring. Manatees have been dropping by to check the spring out. Most do not stay long, but we needed to be sure we were ready for the season. We took the river temp, which was 72.6° F (22.5° C) — basically the same as the spring run. On October 28th, the canoe was fine; on the 29th buzzards had removed five letters of the stickers spelling “manatee research.” We put on new letters and unlocked the canoe. The locks worked beautifully. Normally they are rusted up after the summer, and I have to oil them and beat them with a hammer to get them open and working. The canoe was high up the bank to escape the rising St Johns River, but as the rain had been to the north in the latter part of the rainy season, we could move it down to a more convenient place to launch. Last season we secured the canoe to the steps and left it afloat hoping it would not rain before the water receded. We checked out some manatees and headed up the run to see if the posts with metal numbers marking the transects (they help us locate the manatees on our maps) had survived the swim season, and they had! Back to the manatees: the count was seven and although no adoptees were in, five could be ID’d. We were excited to see Brooke with a new calf. That makes eight live calves for the year with the season not even underway!
On November 4th, the river temp was 70° F (21.2° C) at Racy Point today — two degrees Fahrenheit above the magic number to get the season started. It will be warmer at Blue Spring. We get one day of manatee temperatures (low 50s, low 70s) for six days in the upper 60s and mid-80s. Right now it looks as if the season will start sometime in the last two weeks of November. We are so looking forward to it!! — Wayne Hartley, Manatee Specialist.
Read more manatee updates from this season by clicking the “Learn More” box below.
Please call Blue Spring State Park before you visit to get the latest manatee count at the park: 386-775-3663.
- Read Manatee Updates from this season as well as past seasons.
- Identify manatees in the Club’s adoption program using Wayne Hartley’s Scar Pattern Chart (pdf).
- See Wayne’s Scar Charts for all of the Blue Spring manatees (pdf).
- Learn about Blue Spring State Park and why it is vital habitat for manatees.
- Check out our Species Spotlight to learn about other living things that share the manatee’s habitat at Blue Spring (pdf).
Wescot the Manatee with a Cow/Calf Pair. January 29, 2018