Port Canaveral Lock
Another Great Birding Site to visit
The Lock is used to allow the passage of small boats between the Atlantic
Ocean and the Indian River in North Central Brevard County. Early evening and late afternoon are the best viewing times for wildlife. It is not uncommon to see the following:
- Brown Pelican
- White Ibis
- Snowy Egret
- immature Black-crowned Night-Heron
- Great Blue Heron
- Tri-colored Heron
- A Green Heron or two as well as Least Tern
- Ring-billed Gull
- Laughing Gull and Wood Stork.
On a recent visit we were treated to a sighting of a large Manatee (Sea Cow). The Manatee is a vegetarian, marine mammal that is on the endangered species list. These gentle marine mammals average 10 feet in length and can weigh up to a 1,000 pounds. The species has lived in the warm coastal waters of Florida for at least 45 million years and has no enemies except humans. It has hovered on the edge of extinction for years. The latest yearly records indicate that there are believed to be only about 2,432 along Florida's East Coast.
Manatees move slowly and often are found floating just under the water's surface. Dozens are killed each year by speeding boats.
The statewide Manatee death toll for all of 2012 was reported to be: 5,067. for the complete stats -visit: State of Florida - Fish and Wildlife Commission Data
The Lock is a good birding location because of the large availability of fish that pass through the lock due to its location between the ocean and the brackish waters of the Indian River.
The Lock is located just north of the entrance to Port Canaveral, not far from Jetty Park another interesting place for bird watching.
From Cocoa, Florida
- Take route 528 east and follow the signs to Port Canaveral.
- Exit left toward the "B Cruise Terminal South Cargo" at the traffic light.
- At the stop sign, turn left on to George King Blvd.
- Take the first left turn on to Mullet Drive.
- Follow the road past New Port Marina, then go under the bridge.
- Ignore the Dead End sign, the dead end is the lock.
- Follow the road to the Lock entrance.
There is a small parking lot adjacent to the Lock. Bring your binoculars and camera and have
a good time. There is no entrance fee. There are no steps to climb or long walks to take...
The Lock is managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
The Lock may be closed at times for Security Reasons!
For a more complete listing of birds in the Central Florida area click
here: Central Florida Bird Lists
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