Hillsborough County – Wonderful Wildlife of Hillsborough County

World Wildlife Day is the proper time to take a more in-depth take a look at the individuals who reside in Hillsborough County’s conservation parks, nature reserves, and even your yard. Listed here are 10 of the mammals, reptiles, birds, and fish you could find within the county’s wild areas:



These giant reptiles are discovered all through Florida in recent and brackish water. Grownup alligators can run as much as 35 miles per hour and have 80 tooth. Females hardly ever exceed 10 ft in size, however males can develop a lot bigger. Their weight loss program consists of fish, amphibians, mammals, and birds. Each admired and feared, alligators are a state image and the mascot of the College of Florida sports activities groups.

barred owl


Barred Owls are identified for his or her distinctive playful hoot. Paired companions have interaction by calling one another. They like to reside in a swampy habitat, however may also be present in forests. These owls often hunt at daybreak or nightfall and like a weight loss program of small mammals. Set your sights on a barred owl in the course of the subsequent Avian Journey in
Lettuce Lake Conservation Park.



Though bobcats are widespread inhabitants of forests, hammocks, and swamps, they’re hardly ever seen. Bobcats are twice the scale of home cats. Its vary within the wild extends to about 6 miles, however is minimized in city and suburban areas. Their weight loss program contains land birds and small mammals resembling rodents. It is a uncommon thrill to catch a glimpse of those finicky felines.

coral snake

Thankfully, few venomous snakes name Florida residence. One which does is the coral snake, which shares the identical black, pink, and yellow stripes because the nonvenomous kingsnake. The vital distinction is that the pink and yellow bands contact a coral snake, and the pink and black bands contact the king snake. They’re docile creatures and are prone to be afraid of people.

gopher tortoise

baby gopher tortoise

These light reptiles reside in upland habitats all through Florida. Their deep burrows present shelter for greater than 350 different species. They’re usually discovered on or close to roads, the place it’s sunny and heat. Gopher tortoises are steadily seen chewing on grass within the bell creek Y swampy subject pure reserves.

sea ​​cow

These majestic mammals usually develop to between 9 and 10 ft lengthy and weigh about half a ton. They eat aquatic crops and breathe air, coming to the floor each 3-5 minutes when energetic. See them within the winter within the heat waters of Tampa Bay, particularly on the Manatee View Middle simply north of Apollo Seashore.

Florida red-tailed hawk

The Florida red-tailed hawk is a magnificence to behold. As a non-migratory fowl, they are often discovered regionally all year long. They continue to be in the identical 2-10 sq. mile territory all through their lives and are extremely adaptable, residing in numerous environments resembling grasslands, parks, and forests whereas feeding on small mammals and reptiles. One of many favorites is the rattlesnake. Crimson-tailed hawks are grasp thieves who will not be past stealing a snack from different birds of prey.


A big mouth with a protruding jaw that reaches previous the attention, a excessive dorsal fin, a sloping brow, and a black line extending from the gills to the tail are distinguishing options of the Snook. The fish can develop as much as 48 inches and attain 50 kilos. Its habitat is inshore coastal waters, resembling seashores, mangroves, and seagrass beds. Fish and huge crustaceans make up their weight loss program. They’ll tolerate recent water, however won’t survive temperatures beneath 60 levels.

freshwater turtle

The diamondback tortoise is distinguished by the concentric ring sample on its shell with bumps lining its again. Three of the 5 Florida subspecies could be present in native brackish habitats resembling coastal marshes, mangroves, and tidal creeks. The diamondback turtle enjoys clams, crabs, fish, mussels, snails, worms, and crops. Be taught extra on the Diamondback Terrapin exhibit at
Higher Tampa Bay Park.

White-tailed deer

White-tailed deer

Though a standard web site, white-tailed deer add a bit of pleasure to time spent open air. When alarmed, they wag their upright tails backward and forward as if waving a white flag earlier than working off. Most frequently seen at nightfall or daybreak in habitats the place younger, low-growing vegetation is discovered, it’s straightforward to inform males from females. The males are often adorned with antlers. A lot of Hillsborough County’s nature preserves have these mammals frolicking inside.

Get pleasure from viewing wildlife from a distance. Take a more in-depth look with binoculars or a digicam zoom.

Many animals are most energetic at daybreak or nightfall, offering one of the best instances for wildlife viewing.

Transfer slowly, keep quiet, and do not look straight at an animal.

If an animal stops its exercise or walks away, you’re too shut.

All the time maintain canines on a leash.

To learn extra tales about Hillsborough County Parks and Conservation Preserves, subscribe to The Trailblazer

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