A collection of three animal "neighbors" of Orchid Island, a rare White Pelican, a sea turtle, and a manatee.
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Orchid Island’s commitment to preserving the beautiful natural habitats that surround the Club means the area is teeming with wildlife. Here’s a short list of just a few of the many species that you may encounter while enjoying your time here at Orchid Island.

This big, beautiful bird uses its mouth to scoop up fish for dinner. The white pelican is far more rare than brown pelicans unless you’re at Orchid Island where you can spot them on the golf course lakes. They certainly flock together in our many nature preserves. Do you think they know that the golf course is part of the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program?

Did you know that loggerhead sea turtles return to the same nesting beaches for generations? As a result, every year from May to October, we find turtle tracks on the beach at first light. Loggerheads, green sea turtles, and the occasional leatherback turtle return to our shores to lay their eggs, and their nests are highly protected by state law. Keep your eyes peeled and you might see the turtle babies escaping from the sand, making their first journey to the sea! It’s truly unforgettable.

Ospreys are known to be incredibly adaptable—they can be found living throughout the U.S., from the mountains of Montana to the shores of South Florida. The Florida ospreys are most prevalent along the waterfront, which serves as vibrant fishing grounds for this majestic bird. You’ll find them soaring high above the community, which stretches from the Atlantic Ocean to the Indian River.

It’s always exciting to find river otters sliding in and out of the mangrove areas along the Indian River shoreline and throughout the community. The way that they call to each other and swim through the water is so engaging! River otters tend to stick together in pairs. It’s best to watch them from a distance—when you spot one, you can be sure that there’s another nearby.

These gentle giants are also known as sea cows. The slow-moving mammals are often seen in the shallow waters of the Indian River estuary, grazing on river grass. Drawn to the warm Florida waters, manatees are very friendly and often interact with the neighbors who are merely human. Did you know that manatees are a close genetic cousin of elephants? They may not have the ears, but they do have the familiar gray, wrinkly skin!

You probably recognize these slim, white birds wading around the mangroves, walking through yards and strolling the golf course. The National Audubon Society was founded to help protect these and other birds over the past century. The organization has done a wonderful job, which is why they are so prevalent throughout Florida today.

Orchid Island works hard to preserve a way of life not only for the natural neighbors who live in the area but for the people who live here as well. The Club’s intimate layout creates the perfect environment for these creatures to thrive in concert with our members. The Arnold Palmer-designed golf course is proudly Audubon certified and the secluded beach offers more than a mile of private oceanfront. For those who want to get close to nature and still enjoy the creature comforts of home, the Beach Club and country club amenities are second to none.

For those interested in learning more about this one-of-a-kind private club community, request a complimentary copy of the Orchid Island Magazine. This intriguing publication tells the story of the Vero Beach area and how nature coexists with the residents. For a full list of available real estate listings at Orchid Island, visit our real estate page. If you’re in the area, schedule a visit to the Orchid Island Realty office for a community and club tour. Call 772.388.3888 for more information or visit OrchidIslandFL.com.