When this is in "your" yard and because there are no children around to frighten them away, many of our native birds also call this home. They are so well-treated by the residents, that they are comfortable with you walking amongst them. If my darn ankle wasn't still giving me problems, I could have really gotten some great shots, but I will share what I did take.
|I've got all my gulls in a row|
|Great Blue Heron|
|Great White Egret|
|The Heron getting his morning sun and the Egret stopped by for a visit.|
|Mr. and Mrs. Mallard|
|Thought a bird was flying overhead for a minute, lol.|
|They would walk right along with me and were very polite.|
|Whose coming over to say hello?|
|A Wood Stork - the only breeding stork in America.|
Now you're probably all thinking I was feeding these birds to get them to come up to me, but you'd be wrong. While there are a few residents who do feed them, I am against feeding any kind of wildlife unless you are providing them something that is a natural part of their diet. I've yet to see a bird feeder that holds fish, insects or the aquatic vegetation that is the diet of most of these birds. The lake provides them with their needs, after-all, that's why they moved here in the first place. Besides, the Muscovies are known for eating mosquitoes and that's just what we want them to do!
The birds also get along very well with other wildlife that have set up housekeeping here…
Luckily, the squirrel population here is very limited. They are cute and fun to watch, but too many squirrels and they just become annoying. I know all of you with bird feeders in your yard will attest to this.
There's also another species who is quite comfortable here…
Slider turtles are very shy and will quickly swim away when approached, but this little guy poked his head up to check out what I was doing; maybe he knows I love turtles.
In Florida we have Yellow-bellied Sliders, which are native and Red-eared Sliders, which are not. Red-eared Sliders are the ones you see most often in pet stores and are not supposed to sold here except for educational purposes. Unfortunately, the powers that be don't follow through on this law and you see them sold everywhere, not only in pet stores, but also at flea markets and on street corners. People buy them because they are so cute and if they manage to survive, they grow too big and are let loose in our ponds and lakes. You can read more about each species on Wikipedia by clicking on the above links, if you're interested.
When I was talking on the phone with my sister before going to her home, she told me that one night a turtle came up and dug a hole in the little garden area she has by her front door. She said she kept looking out her window and then said it was crazy, because the turtle dug the hole and then filled it back in and left. I explained to her that what had happened was the turtle dug the hole and then laid her eggs. My sister said she couldn't believe that the turtle even put the mulch back in place. Here's a photo I took of where the eggs were laid…
Now would you have ever guessed there are turtle eggs buried in between those two garden statues? If Sis hadn't seen it with her own two eyes, we would never have known they were there. We'll keep an eye on the nest and try to save the babies when they emerge, with so many birds around they don't have much of a chance without our help. My sister was not able to identify what kind of turtle was in her garden, but she did say it was about 2-feet long, which would indicate it was not one of the sliders. She also said it had a pointed nose. This means it could have been a Florida Soft-shell Turtle, which are common and are natives. Only time will tell, so I may have an update in about three months.
|Florida Soft-shell Turtle - Image via Wikipedia|
Update (Friday Night): I just got off the phone with my sis to tell her I had posted these pics and we got to talking about the turtle. She said she had posted a pic of it in the water on FB. Went, checked it out and "shore 'nuf" it is a Florida Soft-shell Turtle…
It makes me very happy when our Florida natives are thriving, so we'll be keeping an extra eye out for these hatchings.
My time at my sister's was nice and relaxing, I enjoyed the birds, other wildlife and the sky…
So, the question of the day is what kind of birds are in your yard?
Reminder: It's only 5 more days until my
I hope you'll be joining us and linking up your ocean post!
My friend Diane of Lavender Dreams put up a post today of the sea life her and her hubby came across on the Cape Canaveral National Seashore earlier this week. You never know what you'll see here Florida, check out her post here.
Today's Ocean Fact: Whether you live near the coast or further inland, rainwater washes litter from the street into storm drains, where it can flow into you local river and, eventually, the ocean. You can help at home by throwing trash in proper receptacles or organizing a trash cleanup in your community. –Earth Gauge