A perfect thing to do in summer and with guests from out of town is a unique sunset cruise Miami called Seabirds on the Bay. And there’s not only one coming up July 27, but it’s a full moon cruise!Thanks to a tip from a loyal reader and good friend, Francinelee, I found out about this gem of an outing. And by the way, be sure to scroll down to the end of every blogpost and see the images from Instagram, some exciting ones that don’t make their way into the blog since there are only two posts a week.
It’s a two hour cruise of Biscayne Bay with a big difference – bird watching , a chance to be a part of the release of a pelican into the Bay and to learn about the ecology of the area. Plus, the $42 cost of the cruise goes toward funding research, rehabilitation and the release of sick, injured or orphaned brown pelicans, seabirds and other native birds.
The 49 passenger boat departs from Pelican Harbor on the 79th street causeway. It cruises past Bird Key & down the Intercoastal Waterway, ending up at the mouth of the Miami River so you get a bird’s eye view of the fabulous waterside mansions, downtown skyline and spectacular sunsets. Along the way there’s a stop at the mangrove islands to see nesting and perching spots of as many as 20 species, from prairie warblers and anhingas to magnificent fromigatebirds and nesting brown pelicans.
The highlight is the release of a brown pelican into the Bay.
Executive Director Christopher Boykin is on board and he welcomes all questions about the birds and research being done (did you know a pelican lives to a ripe old age of 43 and they practice siblicide, killing smaller weaker babies that are food competition).
It’s fun to go with a group of friends. You’re encouraged to bring food and beverage so it’s like a cocktail cruise.
Ths cruise is offered once a month all year. This time of year is a good time to go since there are fewer boats in the Bay so less wake, making for a smoother ride.The Seabird station offers other interesting and educational activities including a Natural History Speaker Series and a Behind the Scenes Tour of the center. You can also take a self guided tour 365 days of the year from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Or how about this for a child’s birthday gift – adopt one of three species of birds. There’s free parking on site.
Pelican Harbor Seabird Station, 1297 79th Street Causeway (T.305-751-9840).