Backyard Wildlife, Part 1

Spiney Orb Weaver

Hawk Attacking CarSo one thing Brevard County has in abundance is wildlife. I’ve already posted about the manatees that gather frequently in Satellite Beach’s Manatee Cove, and many of the birds we see in the area. We had peahens who visited for a while, we’d feed them peanuts and they’d sit on our roof and make loud squawking peahen noises. There are coyotes in the area, and bobcats, so we make sure to keep our small dogs safe in the dark hours, and cats are best off as indoor pets. We frequently have ibis, mourning doves, blue jays, squirrels, possums, and the ubiquitous anoles (brown and, on occasion, the native green) hanging out in our yard.

If you ever find injured wildlife in need of assistance in Brevard, contact the amazing Wild Florida Rescue if you can’t catch the animal, or, if you can, you can take it to the Florida Wildlife Hospital.

Here are some of the other species of wildlife to be found in Brevard.

HawksMockingbird Attacking Hawk

Our neighborhood is blessed or cursed (depending on whom you ask) to have, in residence, a pair of extremely aggressive hawks who like to attack all manner of people and objects in protection of their young. I’m torn. I love hawks, and of course, they are vital to our ecosystem. However, we have puppies to protect and birds-of-prey can be scary for small dogs. That said, I mostly appreciate the hawks, but feel bad when our neighbors get attacked. (The hawks have literally dive-bombed neighbors’ heads, and drawn blood.) I’m attaching a photo of our local red-shouldered hawk apparently attacking its own reflection in a car, and another of a mockingbird attacking a hawk to protect its nest. That mockingbird rules.

Spiney Orb WeaverSpiny Orb Weavers

This spider is both super cool and totally freaked me out when I first saw it. I’ve since come to realize that we have, like, literally 50,000 of these spiders in our yard. They are on every tree, every bush, they line the pathways, and wish me a good day as I head off to work. Okay, not that. But they are everywhere.

But it’s a spider, right? It is actually a spider. It’s not a spider carrying a small crab. (I first thought it was a spider carrying some weird sea creature to eat. Nope. That’s the spider.)

Why am I posting here, dedicating some valuable post space, to a spider? Look at that picture. It’s a spider that looks like a crab. If this doesn’t explain its worthiness to be mentioned here, really, what will?

Cuban Tree FrogCuban Tree Frog

Finally, I give you the marvelous, beautiful, almost-universally-hated, Cuban Tree Frog. Okay, disclosure. I love them. They are gorgeous, unafraid, and interesting. Last summer we had a female, who we named Globbie, and a few males (who we at first thought were babies but they’re just littler), and we’d go out every night to find Globbie and take some cool pics. We haven’t seen her yet this year.

Okay, so everyone says to kill the Cuban Tree Frogs. But we don’t. They’re invasive. I get it. So are the brown anoles, and people aren’t putting them in freezers or rubbing who-knows-what on their bodies to kill them. About 10% of the species in Florida are invasive. They adapted, which is what species do, and they moved to locations in which they can thrive. I respect that.

Say what you will, we may not agree. But dang this is one lovely frog!