No one is sure when the first family of peafowl arrived in Victoria Park or where they came from...but we have an established colony living on the west side of the neighborhood. You'll see them strutting their stuff down NE 8th Avenue and along NE 4th Street, among others. While their intellect isn't as bright as their plumage, they do add a lot of color and charm to Victoria Park.
According to the urban legend, a ship carrying parrots from South America to be sold in New York as pets at the end of the 19th century became shipwrecked off the coast of south Florida. The crew released the birds from the cargo hold as the ship went down and the birds flew off to the mainland. Their descendents still fly over and nest in Victoria Park -- you can usually see them and hear their distinctive screech at dawn and dusk. They are partial to the buds of Royal Poinciannas and other flowering trees. During the blooming season you'll often seen an entire flock of squawking monk parrots feasting on the buds.
Geckos, Skinks & Iguanas
As any south Floridian knows, there are lots of creepy crawlies just outside the door ... and sometimes they make it inside too! You'll see geckos of many types, as well as their bigger cousins the skinks, scurrying around your yard, sunning themselves and advertising for a mate. For the most part, they are are harmless .... and helpful as they munch on mosquitoes, termites, cockroaches and other insects. The smaller, green variety of gecko is native to Florida, but is less common today than in the past. The brown gecko, a slightly larger import from Cuba, has muscled the green gecko out of many areas. Their larger relatives, green iguanas, are another import ... unwanted pets whose owners released them into the wild. Despite their name, green iguanas come in a variety of hues ranging to yellow and orange and can grow up to 6 feet long. With few native predators to check their population, feral colonies of iguanas are commonplace throughout south Florida. They tend to live in trees, enjoying a vegetarian diet of our plentiful tropical fruit: papayas, mangos, bananas as well as flowering plants and shrubs Iguanas can carry salmonella.