February 19, 2002

Crystal River, Chassahowitzka, and Homosassa Springs Field Trip

Join Refuge Ranger Dorn Whitmore for an overnight trip to Crystal River NWR, Chassahowitzka NWR, and Homosassa Springs State Recreation Area March 16 and 17. Crystal River NWR was established as a wintering area for manatees. During cold winter periods up to 300 manatees will visit the warm water springs. Chassahowitzka NWR, a satellite of Crystal River NWR, was selected as a site for the introduction of a migratory Whooping Crane flock into Florida. Another nonmigratory flock has been established in central Florida. The flock introduced to Chassahowitzka. NWR uses the Refuge as a wintering area.

The group will leave from the MINWR VIC at 8:00 am Saturday, March 16 and arrive at Crystal River by noon.

Half the group will meet at the Visitor Center where staff will present a program on the whooping crane project. The second group will board a pontoon boat for a tour of the springs. The groups will switch places and programs will be repeated. The group will leave Crystal River late afternoon and arrive at the Ramada Inn Homosassa Springs early evening. After breakfast we will spend the morning at the Homosassa Springs State Recreation Area. The return trip begins after lunch and will arrive home by 5:00 pm.

Tour Limit: 20 || Tour Leader: Dorn Whitmore || Cost (Room & Meals): approximately $150.00
Reservations are Required, please call 321-861-2377 to sign up ASAP to secure all reservations.
Transportation will be provided.

Christmas Bird Count

After NASA delays the Christmas Bird Count was finally held on Friday, January 4, 2002. Forty-six participants identified 152 species of birds, down from past counts. Cold weather and strong winds may have been a factor. Species of note included; the Red Throated Loon and the Common Goldeneye. Thanks to all who participated and to MIWA for funding the event.

Volunteer Rendez-Vous at the Refuge

Thursday, January 10, 2002 volunteers and staff gathered at the MINWR VIC for a meeting and social. The event was hosted by Dorn Whitmore and Beth Homa. Refreshments were provided by MIWA. Approximately 26 volunteers were treated to a power point presentation by refuge biologist, Marc Epstein and were introduced to MINWR staff. A white elephant gift exchange ended the meeting. Thanks to all who attended and made it such a success.

Birding Tour Season Coming to an End

It's that time of year again! March will be the-final month of our birding tours and scheduled programs at the MINWR VIC. Tours will be held each Thursday and select Saturdays and Sundays. Watch local newspapers, pick up a calendar of events at the VIC, or call the Refuge at 321-861-0667 for tour information.


The Merritt Island Wildlife Association would like to welcome our newest Corporate Sponsor the Holiday Inn Riverfront KSC. We would also like to announce our newest Life Members: Jim Escoffier, Dan LeBlanc, Bob Sieck, Carolyn Haas, John and Linda Boucher, Judith Lindquist, and Dr. H.P. Bruckner. As Corporate Sponsors and Life Members, they will receive benefits including discounts on field trips, educational programs and purchases at the MINWR gift shop. They will also receive acknowledgement in Habi-Chat, the membership newsletter. For information about Corporate or Individual Memberships, please call 321-861-2377 or visit our website at: MEMBERSHIPS.

Refuge Corner

Thank you to all the volunteers who participated in our recent refuge cleanups. Cub Scout Pack 327 spent a day at Haulover Canal and managed to gather a truckload of trash. Afterwards they had a cookout and received gift bags as a thank-you for their efforts. Char Schafer, Stephen Titcomb, Ed Larsen, Katy Walton, and others concentrated on Dummitt Cove and Haulover Canal areas. In just a few hours they gathered over ten bags of trash and a tire. We greatly appreciate their efforts in making our refuge more beautiful for others to enjoy. Also, a great big thank-you to all our volunteers for their dedication and hard work.

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