Coastal Species

National Save the Sea Turtle Grant Award!

In April, Inwater Research Group (IRG) was awarded a $31,350 grant from the National Save the Sea Turtle Foundation.  The grant has staffed a part-time educator to create interactive and exciting curricula for local schools at no cost.  The grant will also allow an IRG presence at school functions such as Science Nights, Career Days and Science Fairs.  In addition, IRG will be offering other services such as science project ideas and data as well as after school programs to students at no cost. Teachers and students can access this information once it becomes available at inwater.org. ...

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Summer/Fall 2013 Wrap-up!!

IRG knew this year was going to be busy but we didn’t realize it was going to be crazy! A lot has happened in the past few months and the IRG team apologizes for not passing it along in the blog or on Facebook as much as we would have liked. The good news is that we’ve been up to our necks in turtles and have some good things to report!   First, sea turtle nesting on South Hutchinson Island has enjoyed another great year. Our 19 km of nesting beach had only 66 leatherback nests this year. While this was a relatively low number, leatherbacks have had record breaking nesting across the...

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Hungry Screech Owl Chicks!

Well, after some natural and technical difficulties the screech owl cam in Jensen Beach is finally back up and running. After the first chick hatched, honey bees forced the female out of the box for a whole day and the chick died of exposure.  To get rid of the bees we sprayed the box with soapy water and the female returned to incubate the three remaining eggs.  Shortly after that the SD card in the camera crashed so we had no way of saving video clips of the owls. We had to go into the box and replace the SD card. While we were doing this the female watched us carefully from a branch...

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The First Screech Owl Chick Has Hatched

This year the screech owl pair we’ve been watching in Jensen Beach ended up having a total of 4 eggs. The first egg was laid on March 10, 2013, the second on March 13, third on March 15 and the fourth on March 17. The pair of owls we observed last year also had 4 eggs and three hatched so it will be interesting to see how many chicks are produced from this clutch. Here’s a look at the total clutch for 2013 On April 14, 2013, the first chick was hatched at the Jensen Beach owl box, a full 35 days since the first egg was laid on March 10. The average incubation time for screech owl...

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Seining the Indian River Lagoon

This Saturday, Inwater Research Group members Blair and Dawn Witherington accompanied 20 energetic students and watchful parents to pull seine nets through the Indian River Lagoon near Sebastian Inlet. The students had a chance to see and learn about a variety of lagoon inhabitants such as pipefish, mojarras, tonguefish, gobies, bay whiffs, mullet, jacks, croakers, spider crabs, blue crabs, mud crabs, sea squirts, tunicates, and shrimp. The kids took part in the netting, handled curious critters caught, and asked numerous probing questions about the lagoon and its inhabitants. Although the...

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Second Egg Arrives!

The female laid her second egg of the 2013 season around 1 am on March 13th. The female had some interesting behavior minutes before we got our first look at the second egg (see videos below). This could be her actually laying the egg, but it’s hard to tell. The male has picked up the food delivery to the female (2 geckos and a moth) as she spends more time in the box incubating the eggs. During the day the male has perched himself closer to the nest box (picture below), a behavior we saw last year once egg laying had begun. This is the first look we’ve had of the male during the...

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