Property Owners Handbook - Page 41

V I . H abitats fearless creature has been known to damage our landscaping, and golf courses in its search for food. The armadillo’s sturdy armored bands are overlapped and hinged by the animal’s skin. The tail is also covered with armor. Burrows from 10 to 35 feet long can be dug by our other famous digger, the gopher tortoise. Since man and the gopher tortoise compete for the same dry land to make their homes, it has now become illegal to kill, capture, own, buy or sell gopher tortoises except by special permit. Over 70 other kinds of animals have been found using abandoned gopher tortoise burrows. Quite often, snakes take up residence in these abandoned burrows. A common snake is the black racer which is fast moving and quick to flee. Black with a white chin and throat and reddish irises, this nonvenomous snake may attain a length of six feet. These snakes are built-in natural pest controllers, since rodents are their favorite prey. Occasional sightings of rattlesnake in the upland natural areas have also been made. The eastern diamondback rattlesnake is heavybodied, and venomous. Its triangular head and unmistakable yellow and dark-brown diamond pattern on its back make it very recognizable. All snakes have a natural fear of man and do their best to avoid human contact. Remember that snakes, whether venomous or non-venomous, have the potential to bite; so be cautious if you happen upon one. Bonita Bay is fortunate to be home to our U.S. national bird, known as “the master of the air: Bald eagles are dark-bodied with a white head, neck and tail, and a yellow bill. Their call consists of rapid, sharp chirps. Their nests, made in tall pine trees, consist of a massive collection of sticks. These birds return year after year to add to their existing nest. In the northern part of Bonita Bay, along the slough, these rare birds are nesting and reproducing. It is not unusual to site our bald eagles near our many waterways. Wetlands & Waterways Three of the four Bonita Bay property boundaries are waterways. We also enjoy hundreds of acres of lakes and wetlands within the property. When canoeing down the river or enjoying one of our parks, you will notice vegetation and wildlife that makes Florida unique. w w w. B o n i t a B a y Re s i d e nt s .c o m 39