Saturday, March 23, 2013

Mah-velous Mote Marine Part II

Sarasota, FL      High:  80    Low:  67
Sparky filled a whole blog yesterday about just the mammal research center over at the Mote Aquarium. She didn't even make inside the aquarium yet. There's the Save Our Seabirds Center which is also on the grounds of the Mote Aquarium in Sarasota. For an additional 5.00, you can see what this wonderful organization is doing to rehabilitate wild birds and shorebirds....Their mission is to rescue, rehabilitate and release injured birds, educate the public about how we humans have impact on wild birds, and provide training for wildlife that have been injured by oil spills. It's a very cool place with a bird hospital in the middle of it.

As Sparky was exploring the premises, an egret or heron, not sure which, was ambling out the side door of the hospital. An escaped inmate, possibly? :-)
But then again, birds of a feather flock together, and this bird sanctuary has lots of visitors from OUTSIDE the park, that just fly in and see their friends, perch on the roofs of the buildings, or just wander around like they own the place.

Sparky saw lots of cool birds on the mend...Some owls....
A pretty loon....
Some beautiful brown pelicans with the deep brown mating plumage...There ought to be a lot of action going on soon in this place with all the brown feathers showing!
There were laughing gulls and ring neck gulls. The laughing gulls are called that because of their noisy chatter that sounds a little bit like laughing. Guess seagulls is a misnomer, as gulls are pretty much land birds that fly around water, foraging for food along the beaches and inland, wherever people leave their garbage. They are extremely smart and adaptable. We've been seeing them more and more in bigger cities, and commonly in parking lots up north where the water isn't anywhere to be seen. Apparently, they have a highly developed social structure and communication skills. Gulls are thriving because they've learned to co-exist with humans.

One of the most interesting birds Sparky saw at Save Our Seabirds was the sandhill crane. The crane is another one of Sparky's favorite birds. They had at least a half dozen sandhill cranes with prosthetic legs at SOS. That was so sad to see. The cranes with artificial legs had been hit by cars or GOLF BALLS. Yep, that's right---golf balls. Which is not surprising, seeing how many cranes are walking around golf courses in Florida.

Sparky finally made it to the main aquarium building and it was just as wonderful as the rest of the place. Of course, it has the most stuff of all to see....

Again, there are several research "mini" centers within the aquarium. There is a seahorse lab and a jellyfish reproduction center.

You can see the lab workers doing their jobs as you wander through the aquarium. Sparky loves the moon jellyfish. They are always in the special lighted tanks that make them look like they are from outer space and not on this planet.
You can learn all about reef development at Mote....and touch a variety of living sea creatures with multiple touch tanks in the aquarium.
Sparky liked the outdoor touch tank that had cow rays in it...They were SLIMY! But the kids loved them...

Wanna see some sharks in an open tank? They are here at Mote....

That's as close as Sparky wants to get to one, from a camera zoom lens! Did you hear about the tens of thousands of sharks making their way north from Florida on the east coast lately?  That was a few weeks ago...Hopefully, they've moved on.
You can see some big fish at Mote...
And lots more stuff. Mote is truly a marvelous aquarium, not to be missed...Come on down and see it in beautiful sunshiny Sarasota, Florida.....See ya later!


  1. What a fascinating place. One more museum to add to the Gulf Coast list.