Egyptian Goose and babies in the Woodlands Tamarac

After Jeff Smoley wrote a response to my wild bird video with his observations of the many wild animals around the Woodlands, I was inspired to write about my experience with these critters.    You see, after moving here from West Davie over a year ago, you’d think I would have seen my fair share of wildlife after living so close to the Everglades.   I was wrong.   I’m now seeing more wildlife than I ever saw out in west Broward County!

From http://news.fiu.edu/

Upon moving in, I couldn’t believe the large abundance of water turtles in the canal behind my home.    I have such a weakness for those elusive reptiles as they always seem to disappear when I’m looking.   My neighbor once found a baby turtle crossing Umbrella Tree Lane.  I wanted to keep it in a dish but felt really bad for the little guy so I put him back in the lake that same day.  When our Banyan tree starts dropping berries in the fall, those little turtle heads pop up out of the water waiting for their lucky berry to drop nearby.   Sometimes I see dozens of those turtle heads popping up out of the water.   If I’m lucky, I’ll find a few sunning themselves on the banks of the canals.  But I can never get to close as they usually scuttle back into the water.

Female Egyptian Goose sitting on her eggs in the valet area of the Woodlands Country Club

Not only do we have Florida’s “official” duck, the Muscovy in abundance, but we have a species that I never saw before I moved here, the Egyptian goose.  These beautiful geese are all over the Woodlands.   One of them lays her eggs in the planter at the valet area of the country club.   She sits in there while cars pull in and out, never leaving those eggs.   Not many people notice her there except the employees who get a kick when the babies leave their nest and start learning how to fly.    This pattern has happened several years in a row as she likes to come back to the same spot.

Egyptian geese are so loud.  Just Christmas morning I was awakened at 4 am by the incessant quacking, or should I say screaming, of one particular family of geese that like to hang out near my home.  They really need to keep it down while they squabble amongst themselves.  Since these geese pair with their mates for life, it’s no wonder they seem to be fighting amongst themselves.   While taking photos of them one day, they stood nearby making sure I didn’t come to close to their babies.   I swear, they will take your hand off if you cross the line with them!

Baby Possums may be cute to some, but as adults they are downright scary looking to me.

The ugliest critters around are the possums that live near me.   My daughter was horrified to find out that a baby possum was hanging outside her full length window at night.    It was hard not seeing him as he would wander around and poke his white nose into the window while looking in.   We tried to make light of it and told her to give it a name.  He became “Mossum the Possum”.   Even with that cute name, he just didn’t look very cute.   She was still so scared of him that she changed sides of her bed so she wouldn’t be close to that window.

Smile Dentistry
Forget sticky tapes. I know rat poison is cruel, but iI had to take desperate measures against the rats who were living it up in my home

I wouldn’t be honest if I didn’t share with you my rat story.   Yes, I had rats in my house and I can only talk about it now as time has passed and I’ve won the fight to keep them out of my home.   It starts with the partially eaten bananas on the counter top and the droppings.    My exterminator told me I had to seal off all entrances to the house but it was a mystery finding these entrances.   I found one where our kitchen cabinet maker did not cover up exposed pipes.    The rats were finding their way in by following the pipes right to my kitchen.   Once sealed, the rats were still getting in.   We found the other entrance in my son’s closet where they chewed through the AC duct work above the unit.    We had the duct work fixed and sealed and that worked to keep them out of there.

I know we have some sort of raccoon that is trying to stay warm in the gutters near our master bedroom.  We know this because occasionally we will hear claws scratching at night (of course it’s only when we’re sound asleep).    My poor husband usually gets the job of banging on the wall to get it to stop. One evening during dinner I looked across the golf course and I saw a raccoon come down a tree and raid a duck nest for eggs.   I saw him scamper away with his “prize” and run back up the tree.

I thought I was seeing things when I saw a white rabbit at the main entrance of the Woodlands one night while driving in.   I saw it again a few nights later, and later I saw a brown rabbit.   My husband has seen the rabbits as well so I figured I wasn’t seeing things.    Others have confirmed these wild rabbit sightings as well.   I’m sure if we give it a few months, we will see hundreds of rabbits.

Just tonight my dog was looking out of the full length glass window barking wildly.  “It must be another possum,” I said to my family.   Sure enough, I looked out to see the biggest, ugliest possum outside.   He didn’t even scramble away, keeping his eyes focused into the window.  He wasn’t even scared.   Who knows, maybe it was Mossum the Possum all grown up.    Other wildlife sightings include:  Beautiful and quick wild parrots, iguanas, which after last year’s cold snap temporarily played dead in my yard.   When the weather warmed up, they came alive again and disappeared.  There are snakes, egrets, herons and tons of squirrels and their nests.  As Jeff Smoley said, “We really do live in the Woodlands.”

Author Profile

Sharon Aron Baron
Sharon Aron Baron created the Woodlands Tamarac in 2010 for original News for the community. In 2011 she went on to create Tamarac Talk, in 2012, Coral Springs Talk and 2017, Parkland Talk.

Advocate Claims

3 Responses to "Critters in the Woodlands"

  1. MISSING – SMALL ALL BLACK CAT – brown eyes, named Wolfie, since Mon., Dec 27th. She is only 9 mths old and just went out for the first time since her spay. It’s been very cold and I hope that someone just took her in. Please, if you have any info please contact Rani 954-254-4553 or smileygal22@att.net.

  2. Still missing Wolfie – small (young) black cat with brown eyes- just spayed. She has been missing for over a week now. We miss her dearly. Please ask neighbors if they may have seen her. Thanks. Call Rani 954-254-4553 or smileygal22@att.net

  3. I love wildlife! We moved here about 18 months ago after spending our entire lives in the foothills of the Rockies. I miss the activity in our backyard, which was a passageway to the mountains for our local “residents.” We had all the usual, i.e. raccoons, snakes, deer (by the herd), coyotes, foxes (that played in the big flower pots as kits), coyotes, and SKUNKS! Glad we left those behind – LOL! During the summer, we also had frequent black bear visits and mountain lions all year. I always felt honored to see them in their natural habitat. I used to teach a class in wildlife management. I do miss them.
    On the flip side, I’m still amazed to see egrets and ibises in the yard and was floored the first time I saw a raccoon in the swimming pool! Colorado raccoons don’t seem to swim, must be from the shortage of classes resulting from no pools. I am also pleased to see the large number of different raptors that soar over the golf course. Not as happy about the vultures that soar over the pool – mysteriously only when I’m in it. I feel like they’re making plans.
    I’ve got to admit, I love possums, we never had them before. I think they’re so cute! We have them drop by now and then, hoping the “girls” forgot to eat all their kibble.
    I’m working on learning the names of the different birds in the area. If there are any other “nature freaks” out there, I’d love to hear from them. In the meantime, I’m hoping to get a better camera so I can get higher quality photos of them!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.