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The ‘grandfather’ peacock of Casuarina is a magnificent bird whose feathers appear to measure the full six feet in length. He may be an original from Different of Abaco, a now shuttered eco-tourist lodge.

Casuarina Point is a Wildlife Sanctuary

The quiet settlement of Casuarina Point in South Abaco is not only home to a small number of homeowners who enjoy the peaceful relaxed atmosphere but also to a medley of wildlife. Of course, since Casuarina Point sits alongside a beautiful sandy beach there is always plenty of sea life to watch. The  turtles are fun to observe swimming through the crystal clear water, every now and again bobbing up their little heads for air. Even more dramatic are the dolphins leaping out of the water often appearing to try and see who can leap the highest.

Running along the shore on little spindly legs are the plovers and killdeers while overhead fly the magnificent frigate birds. Occasionally one is lucky enough to see a beautiful long legged egret or a heron. Tide here goes out for miles and people love to walk on the sand spits looking for the starfish and sand dollars which are waiting for the tide to return.

Bone fish are in abundance here and the flats are very popular with bone fisherman. One can often see them up to their knees in water casting out their lines. Since this is a catch and release sport, no harm is done to the fish population.

Another sport which is popular in Casuarina Point during the summer months is crabbing. The land crabs love the rainy weather and this is when they come crawling and can be seen in abundance marching across the roads. Many people love to catch these crabs because they make delicious eating and catchers can be seen with their flashlights shining into the bushes searching out these crabs at night.

They take them home, put them in cages and feed them on certain foods to clean them out before putting them into the cooking pot or taking them to sell along the roadside in town.

A colony of cats also resides in Casuarina Point. Presently there are fifteen, three of which are currently expecting kittens so the population is due to expand considerably in the near future. An attempt has been made by residents to control the population by trapping, spaying and neutering but strays still seem to appear from nowhere and defy all the efforts made.

The cats are a motley crew of sizes and colors with some very interesting fur patterns. They are well looked after by one kindly resident who feeds them well every day. At about 4:30 PM each day the cats line up outside her house waiting for their dinner and as soon as they hear her truck they start running towards the feeding station. They are fed atop ‘cat condo’ which was built for them by another kindly resident.

After they have been fed they normally disappear into the bush for the night but the Condo offers them the opportunity to sleep either under it or inside it out of the heat or rain.

The pride and joy of Casuarina Point are its peacocks.

A group of peacocks was left at Different of Abaco, the eco-tourist lodge, when Nettica Symonette left it deserted years ago. The peacocks today are descendants of those although we believe that the one large ‘grandfather’ is an original. He is a magnificent bird and his feathers appear to measure the full six feet in length which is the maximum size peacock feathers usually reach.

He loves to show off his plumage and can often be seen with all feathers fully extended. There are currently seven females and two males in the family and it is believed that three of the females are currently expecting baby peahens as they have disappeared into the bush for a while now. This family of peacocks loves to come and scope out the ‘cats’ condo’ after the cats have finished eating in the evening because they can usually still find some tasty morsels.

The peacocks are certainly well fed for in addition to the cats’ leftovers they are also fed by other residents in addition to all the bugs and berries they find for themselves naturally. The peacocks also wait for residents returning from their day at work for they often bring left over lunch to share with the   peacocks eagerly awaiting by the side of the road.

Finally, to add another touch of colour at this time of year, flocks of parrots make their way to Casuarina Point from their home in Bahama Palm Shores to spend the summer months here while the cocoa plums are in profusion. One can hear their noisy chattering in the early morning and evening hours and it is a beautiful site to see them flying overhead especially when the sun catches the magnificent blues and greens of their outspread wings in flight.

About Jennifer Hudson

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