Wildlife of Florida
When asked, most people will associate the wildlife of Florida to a select group of genre : alligators, dolphins, sharks, and many will know about manatees. Interestingly enough, those groups make up only a small sampling of the abundant animal kingdom that abounds in Florida. As a well traveled individual, the wildlife here never ceases to amaze me. For instance, did you know that Florida has black bears, panthers, bobcats, wild conures, bald eagles and even whales on occasion?
Florida Wildlife is magnificent. In no other part of the country have I known such a diversity of creatures. I have watched the dolphins swim from my back yard, as well as play in the open water, (normally meaning my fishing is done in that spot!). I have watched the manatees play in the shallow waters of the grass beds, and swim lazily along side of my boat. Sitting on the lanai, (a screened enclosure to keep bugs out), I have seen the red fox scramble by in search of his nightly dinner. Opossums are a regular sight -- so ugly they are cute. Known for playing dead and hanging upside down from a tree, opossums are one of the only marsupials in Florida.
White tail deer can be seen with a keen eye in the cool hours of the morning or the shadows of the setting sun. Also known as Key Deer, they are small, about the size of a pony. Many deer can be seen in the Everglades, a protected area of land that holds a wealth of wildlife including black bears. Though not seen very often, they are here.
Birds are some of the greatest wonders in Florida. Great blue herons at times perched on a roof top or lanai cage, pelicans skimming effortlessly inches above the water. It is fascinating to watch pelicans fish for dinner. Catching a current , they rise high over the spot where the little fish are, then fold back their wings and dive bomb the spot. It would break every bone in our body to hit the water like that. Burrowing owls are common here. Yes, they are an owl and they burrow in the ground and they are a fabulous creature. Definitely a must see if you are here in Southwest Florida. Bald eagles and osprey are a common sight fishing for their dinner in the waters of Florida.
Many questions revolve around poisonous creatures. Florida does have some poisonous critters. There are only two spiders that reside in Florida that are venomous, the black widow and brown recluse or fiddler spider. As far as snakes are concerned, Florida, like most southern states has a variety of rattle snakes. Other snakes to be aware of would include water moccasins, copperheads and the occasional coral snake. Again, in most instances, you will never know that these creatures are around unless you bother them.
The big question is “are there alligators here? The answer is unequivocally , yes. That is the bad news. The good news is that Florida Gators are notoriously shy. It is unlikely that one will bother you unless you bother it first. As always there are exceptions to the rules; but, as a general rule they are not an uncommon sight and not likely to bother you. Florida is also known to have the occasional crocodile. Sanibel Island, Ding Darling Wildlife Sanctuary, has a croc that has taken refuge there. It is the only crocodile known to be this far north in the northern hemisphere.
Florida wildlife is to o vast to fit onto one page of a website, so I have provided some additional links to follow. These links will take you to various pages where you can see pictures of Florida Wildlife and study about the various animals in Southwest Florida.
As Florida grows, it becomes more and more important to live with these animals. It is intriguing to watch the wildlife and the interaction with humans. The Florida Wildlife Commission does not allow the feeding and/or capturing of these creatures, but that does not deny us the ability to work with nature and be taken in by its beauty and awe. Please protect the environment and the treasures that it holds. Man can live in unison with nature and still enjoy the sports associated with it. I take pride in our community and the natural wonders associated with it and would enjoy the opportunity to share it with you.