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Water Parks

Florida Guide > Miscellaneous

Wildlife in Florida

Because Florida has a tropical climate, there are many different varieties of wildlife than you will find in the UK.  Everyone has heard about alligators, but there are lots of other different types of wildlife too.

 As a general warning, please do not feed any of the wildlife - not only can you be reported because it's against the law but also bread and other human food is not a good diet for creatures used to foraging for insects, fish, etc!  Please also don't get too close to them (they're not pets!) or chase them.

These are some of the wildlife you may see:

Eagles - there are different types, including bald eagles.  You may see these flying overhead around your rental home.

Vultures - again, different types but these include turkey vultures. 

If you see a large bird flying and circling, it could be either a vulture or an eagle.  There's a simple way to tell the difference which is to check if they have spaces at the end of their wings (they look like 'fingers').  If they have spaces, then they are vultures but no spaces means it's an eagle.

Cranes - these are large wading birds with long legs and there are different varieties.  One common variety is the Sand Hill Crane which is grey with a red beak and eyes and is around 4 feet tall.   You will probably either see these wading at the edge of lakes or water areas, pecking at grass or flying overhead.

Egrets - lots of different varieties but a common one is a cattle egret.  This is white with long legs and about 1.5 feet tall.  These also peck at grass and gather around lake or water areas.

Anhingas - are dark brown/black with large beaks.  You will probably spot these diving into deep water at the centre of lakes for fish or sitting on the surface with their wings outspread to dry after a dive.

Pelicans - usually seen at the coast, these have a long neck with a pouch underneath their beak for holding fish.  You'll find them hanging around fishing boats or docks waiting for a free meal from fish boats.

Frogs - there are lots of different varieties of frogs and toads, ranging from brown through to green.  You may find these hiding at night in your garden so be careful when you get back to your rental home in the dark that you don't tread on them!

Snakes - again different varieties and some are venomous so don't get too close!  They like warm places (like around the pool heater and pump) and are active during the day when it's warm.  At night, they like a dark place to rest.

If you want to learn about snakes, then a visit to Reptile World Serpentarium will provide all the information you need as well as seeing an extensive display of snakes from all over the world and watching a venom collecting demonstration.  This is located on Highway 192 through St Cloud (opposite direction to Disney) on the left side - it's set back from the road.

Insects - there's a vast array of insects, ranging from ants to the praying mantis.

Raccoons - these are furry animals and have black and brown striped tails.  You may see them in woodland or they may venture onto your rental home community to forage the rubbish (make sure you put the lid tightly on your rental home bin). 

Bob cats - wild cats which are larger than the domestic kind and have pointed, tufted ears.  They are generally shy and you will be lucky to see one of these in the wild.

Bears - small brown bears which are also generally shy and not widely distributed.

If you are interested in wildlife generally, then a visit to the Disney Wilderness Preserve may be interesting for you.  This is located in Poinciana (turn off Highway 192 onto Poinciana Boulevard). http://nature.org/wherewework/northamerica/states/florida/preserves/art5523.html

Crescent Lakes rental home community is located next door to a wildlife conservation area which has acres of woodland and uncultivated areas and you can walk through it if you wish to try to spot some of your favourites.

We aim to provide accurate and useful information, but if you feel anything provided here is not accurate or out of date, please email us with the address of the page concerned and any comments so we can amend as necessary.

Page added on: 20 July 2004
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