What could manatees, American white pelicans, and loggerhead sea turtles all have in common? At first glance, these animals don’t seem to have many similarities at all. One lays its eggs on the beach, one swims in the water, and one flies in the air. As it turns out, that these animals have much more in common than it seems!
This is the obvious one. Manatees and loggerheads live their lives in the water. In fact, the turtles don’t really leave the water except to lay their eggs. Did you know that turtles return each year to the same beach where they were born to lay their eggs? American white pelicans stick close to brackish water, a mix of fresh and salt water. Places like red mangroves and rivers are popular for them. To catch their meals, they can be seen corralling fish into an area and then plunging their bucket-like bills into the water. The closer that you are to the water, the more likely that you’re able to spot these animals!
While loggerhead sea turtles, American white pelicans, and manatees are considered beautiful and important parts of Florida’s ecosystem, they’re also ecologically sensitive. Because of this, lawmakers and residents have worked so that certain protections ensure the safety of these animals. At Orchid Island, this can include everything from setting up special lights on the Beach Club so that baby sea turtles can’t see them to let scientists and conservationists know when a rare species has taken up residence in Orchid Island, like the pelicans. This way, we can ensure that these animals come to stay with us for a long time.
Orchid Island is designated as a Certified Cooperative Audubon Sanctuary. That means that the staff and residents of the Club work to preserve the natural environment. Because of that, usually rare animals such as American white pelicans are known to migrate here. They are often seen flying over the golf courses from November through March. Manatees float placidly down the river around this area. They’re drawn to the naturally warm waters. Our beaches are some of the best and most popular nesting grounds for the loggerhead sea turtles. During peak season, their nests are marked off to protect the eggs from beachgoers. Next time that you pay a visit to Orchid Island, keep a close lookout-you may never know what you might see!
For those who want to get close to nature and enjoy the creature comforts of home, the Orchid Island Golf & Beach Club amenities are second to none. Orchid Island works hard to preserve a way of life for, not only the natural neighbors who live on the Treasure Coast, but the residents as well. Members and residents also enjoy the one-mile of private beach access and what’s even better, Orchid Island spans from the Atlantic Ocean to the Indian River.
This private community is committed to providing a level of service that stands out from the rest. Golfing here is unparalleled, as the Arnold Palmer designed, 18-hole course is not only renowned among courses, but also holds an Audubon Certified Sanctuary status for its commitment to natural preservation.
Love the Vero Beach location? Request the inaugural issue of Orchid Island Lifestyles Magazine here to learn more about the Vero Beach area and how nature coexists with the residents.
If you’re in the area, stop by the Orchid Island Sales Center and see the community’s beauty for yourself. Call 772. 388.3888 for more information or visit OrchidIslandFL.com.
Luxury residential properties range from the $800s to over $10 million and include custom estate residences, courtyard homes, cottage, or oceanfront condominiums.
Orchid Island’s commitment to preserving the beautiful natural habitats that surround the Club means the area is teeming with wildlife. Here’s a short list of just a few of the many species that you may encounter while enjoying your time here at Orchid Island.
AMERICAN WHITE PELICAN
This big, beautiful bird uses its mouth to scoop up fish for dinner. The white pelican is far more rare than brown pelicans unless you’re at Orchid Island where you can spot them on the golf course lakes. They certainly flock together in our many nature preserves. Do you think they know that the golf course is part of the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program?
Did you know that loggerhead sea turtles return to the same nesting beaches for generations? As a result, every year from May to October, we find turtle tracks on the beach at first light. Loggerheads, green sea turtles, and the occasional leatherback turtle return to our shores to lay their eggs, and their nests are highly protected by state law. Keep your eyes peeled and you might see the turtle babies escaping from the sand, making their first journey to the sea! It’s truly unforgettable.
Ospreys are known to be incredibly adaptable—they can be found living throughout the U.S., from the mountains of Montana to the shores of South Florida. The Florida ospreys are most prevalent along the waterfront, which serves as vibrant fishing grounds for this majestic bird. You’ll find them soaring high above the community, which stretches from the Atlantic Ocean to the Indian River.
It’s always exciting to find river otters sliding in and out of the mangrove areas along the Indian River shoreline and throughout the community. The way that they call to each other and swim through the water is so engaging! River otters tend to stick together in pairs. It’s best to watch them from a distance—when you spot one, you can be sure that there’s another nearby.
These gentle giants are also known as sea cows. The slow-moving mammals are often seen in the shallow waters of the Indian River estuary, grazing on river grass. Drawn to the warm Florida waters, manatees are very friendly and often interact with the neighbors who are merely human. Did you know that manatees are a close genetic cousin of elephants? They may not have the ears, but they do have the familiar gray, wrinkly skin!
You probably recognize these slim, white birds wading around the mangroves, walking through yards and strolling the golf course. The National Audubon Society was founded to help protect these and other birds over the past century. The organization has done a wonderful job, which is why they are so prevalent throughout Florida today.
Orchid Island works hard to preserve a way of life not only for the natural neighbors who live in the area but for the people who live here as well. The Club’s intimate layout creates the perfect environment for these creatures to thrive in concert with our members. The Arnold Palmer-designed golf course is proudly Audubon certified and the secluded beach offers more than a mile of private oceanfront. For those who want to get close to nature and still enjoy the creature comforts of home, the Beach Club and country club amenities are second to none.
For those interested in learning more about this one-of-a-kind private club community, request a complimentary copy of the Orchid Island Magazine. This intriguing publication tells the story of the Vero Beach area and how nature coexists with the residents. For a full list of available real estate listings at Orchid Island, visit our real estate page. If you’re in the area, schedule a visit to the Orchid Island Realty office for a community and club tour. Call 772.388.3888 for more information or visit OrchidIslandFL.com.