your property, don’t move it as you must
obtain a permit from the FWC before
relocating a tortoise. Learn more at myfwc.
Nine-banded armadillos are not native
and look like small anteaters wearing armor.
Their rooting and burrowing has damaged
many lawns. They are most active in the
evening and have poor eyesight and hearing
so watch for them when you’re driving at
night. Also not native and more dangerous
are coyotes. Relatively new to Florida, these
predators have snatched small animals, so
unless you are in a densely populated area
with no woods, be extra careful when you
walk your pets at night.
It would be rarer to spot a bobcat, whitetailed
deer, wild turkey, wild boar or river
otter, but they’re all in our area. However,
there’s nothing rarer than spotting a Florida
panther. There are fewer than 130 of these
elegant felines left in the wild and they have
made their way here.
So many different birds call our area their
home, or their vacation home. We might not
have flamingos of the non-plastic variety, but
we do have pelicans, egrets, white and blue
herons, sandhill cranes, osprey and majestic
bald eagles. On the beach, you might see
tiny sandpipers hopping along the waterline,
and seagulls eyeing your lunch. Blue herons
and egrets often wait patiently for the spoils
from people fishing from the shore. Brown
pelicans will fight for those fish, splashing
loudly when they dive into the water.
Your backyard could be home to bright
red cardinals, noisy woodpeckers, tiny
hummingbirds or maybe the Florida scrub
jay, which is protected under both state and
federal law. Sandhill cranes, traveling in
families or pairs, can be found loping across
the street or grazing in your yard. And look
up to that light tower, or if you’re on the
water, the channel markers, and you might
see an osprey nest. If you develop an interest
in birds, be sure to contact the Venice Area
Nesting Loggerhead Sea Turtle.