Manatee Sightings: June 2020

Special thanks to Save the Manatee Club staff members Wayne Hartley, Manatee Specialist, and Cora Berchem, Director of Multimedia and Manatee Research Associate, and also to photographer David Schrichte for their work to document manatees during the 2019 – 2020 season. Watch videos from last season and highlights from previous seasons by going to our Webcam page. Several of the manatees featured are in our Adopt-A-Manatee® program. (All SMC activities conducted under permit # MA791721-5.) See more of David Schrichte’s work at

Manatee mom and newborn calf at SeaWorld Orlando.
A pregnant female manatee injured by boat collision was rescued over Mother’s Day weekend and gave birth to a calf two days later at SeaWorld Orlando, one of four critical-care facilities in Florida. Click this link or the photo above to watch the mom give birth and an adorable video of the pair. Mom is wearing a neoprene jacket with a foam insert on one side that helps keep her upright while she heals. Thanks so much to all the rescue and rehabilitation staff and volunteers! (Video courtesy SeaWorld Orlando.)
David Schrichte manatee photo
Photographer David Schrichte took several captivating images of manatees this winter on Florida’s west coast. Here, a mother and calf rest together.
Manatee adoptee Gator made a short visit to Blue Spring on April 19, 2020, swimming in and leaving with part of a tree! Enjoy this short video recorded with our webcams!
David Schrichte manatee photo
Over the years, David Schrichte has captured the spirit of these aquatic mammals with his beautiful and endearing images.
Manatee adoptee Phyllis made a surprise summer visit to Blue Spring on May 5, 2020, and we caught her visit on our above-water webcam!
David Schrichte manatee photo
David’s images have been featured nationally and internationally, appearing in a variety of publications. His photos have graced the cover and inside pages of Save the Manatee Club’s annual manatee calendar. We are very lucky that he generously donates his manatee photos for Save the Manatee Club’s work.
Adoptee Moo Shoo and her calf. Recorded with our above-water webcam on January 9, 2020 at Blue Spring State Park
David Schrichte manatee photo
It wasn’t until he joined the U.S. Navy at age 20 that David Schrichte was able to explore his interest in underwater photography. While he was stationed at the Orlando Naval Training Center, he focused his camera’s eye on manatees.
Ariel, Betsy, and Electra are three manatees who live year-round at Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park. Watch our new video and learn more about them!
David Schrichte manatee photo
For almost 30 years, David has spent time photographing manatees at every opportunity in various locations around Central Florida.
A sweet video of a mom and calf recorded with our above-water camera at Blue Spring State Park on January 26, 2020!
David Schrichte manatee photo
“When in the water, I consider myself a visitor to the world of the manatee,” says David. “It’s their home, and I must respect that at all times. I have the freedom to come and go as I please. In contrast, the manatees do not — especially during the cold winter months when leaving the comfort and warmth of the spring waters can mean life or death for them.”
Alice and her calf, winter visitors to Blue Spring State Park, swim by the underwater webcam on November 30, 2019. Alice’s obvious scars are from a boat collision. Alice and her calf also made a few summer appearances at Blue Spring since season ended, most recently on May 25th and 26th.
David Schrichte manatee photo
“Most of my time in the water is spent floating motionlessly, in a near Zen-like state, taking deliberate deep breaths, waiting for the manatees to approach me,” says David Schrichte. “My patience often pays great rewards as a curious manatee, possibly two, approach me as I wait quietly off to the side. I’m always delighted to share those photographic rewards.”
A funny clip we caught with our underwater webcam of manatee Bryan (at right) as he bobs up and down to surface to breathe at Blue Spring on November 19, 2019!
David Schrichte manatee photo
“For such a large and seemingly intimidating animal, I find the gentleness of these aquatic giants to be of greatest appeal,” says David. “When I’m in their environment, I often remind myself the manatees are really in control here, not me.”
Who says the only creatures on our webcams are manatees? Here is a short clip of an anhinga, a water bird, diving down on resting manatee Anton! Recorded with our underwater webcam at Blue Spring on December 9, 2019.
David Schrichte manatee photo
“Though mainly a solitary animal, I believe a natural curiosity and social playfulness is more to the core of their being, at least while amassed in the springs, says David. “When you witness the serene scene of a mother manatee quietly nursing her newborn calf in the quiet recesses of the springs, how could you not be moved by the nurturing grace of such a wonderful creation? I know I am.”
A fun clip recorded with our above-water webcam at Blue Spring State Park on February 29, 2020, when a lot of manatees suddenly appeared all at once on the camera!
David Schrichte manatee photo
David Schrichte views the donation of his manatee images to Save the Manatee Club as a way of paying it forward. “It’s important for me to know that, through my photographic eye, I can lend a helping hand by continuing to contribute my images toward the objective of preserving one of Mother Nature’s most valued treasures: the manatee,” he says. “That, I pledge, will continue until the day my finger can no longer depress the camera’s shutter release.” See more of David’s work at
Blue Spring manatee “Mata Hari” was confirmed pregnant during the 2019-2020 winter season by researchers at Blue Spring State Park. After she had a miscarriage in the summer of 2018, we were extremely happy to see her with a little calf in mid-May on our above-water webcam at Blue Spring!
Man versus Manatee comic by Rachel Arnow.
“Action Cam” from the charming web comic “Man versus Manatee” by Rachel Arnow. Notice the manatee’s Save the Manatee Club logo lunch box at left and the otter’s fish lunch box at right. See more of Rachel’s manatee comics at or on her Facebook page. She puts out a new comic each “Manatee Monday.”