Amelia Island Plantation, FL: Right whales seen off coast.
Christina Nelson, Nature Program Manager at Amelia Island
Plantation, recently spied In the shallow waters off the beach
at The Dunes Club a sight she had been waiting 12 years to
see--Right Whales. There off the coast a mother and her
young calf remained on the surface of the water for at least
an hour before traveling northward along the coastline toward
the Amelia Inn & Beach Club.
“I watched in awe as the youngster submerged then floated
to the surface blowing water from its blow holes," she said
excitedly. "The calf would swim around the mother, pause
to nurse, and then flip its tail as it investigated the
dolphins that were passing by. I got a few pictures--most
look like black logs floating on the ocean, but the memory
will remain with me forever,” said Nelson.
Right whales are one of the most endangered whale species
with only about 300 remaining. In spring and summer
Northern Right whales swim along the coast of Canada and
New England where they feed on plankton. In late fall and
early winter, the pregnant females make their annual
migration to the warm coastal waters off South Carolina,
Georgia, and Northeast Florida where they give birth.
The waters off these southeastern states are designated as
Right Whale Critical Habitat because it is the only calving
area known for this whale. Amelia Island Plantation, which
has its own Nature Center and Staff Naturalist, is featured