Brazilian pepper actually is used fairly heavily on islands along our coast.
Nesting species include Roseate Spoonbill, Reddish Egret, White Ibis
(especially), Glossy Ibis, Great Egret, and several of the small herons. Also both
night-herons, Double-crested Cormorants, and some Brown Pelicans.
Australian pine is also used, though not as commonly as pepper. Typical
nesting species include Great Blue Heron, cormorant and Anhinga.
Just south of Bradenton there is a small colony of Great Blue Herons in a
stand of Melaleuca trees, bordering the sea wall of a mobile home park. On the
underside of one nest we found a Monk Parakeet nest a couple of years ago...
Another exotic to think about is the Washingtonia palm. A dead one in my
front yard has been used by single pairs of Eastern Screech-owl, Northern Flicker
and Red-bellied Woodpecker -- simultaneously. Starlings use Washingtonia
cavities too, e.g. at McKay Bay Park.
Speaking of exotics, carrotwood may be a real threat to mangrove communities.
We are seeing it on spoil islands and natural mangrove keys too, where it
grows to 6 feet or more and is fruiting within a year. It invades sandy beach
ridges on mangrove keys, and can appear almost anywhere on spoil islands.
Unfortunately it has been used as an ornamental in Pinellas, Manatee, Sarasota and
I believe Hillsborough counties, so there is a sizeable seed source out
there. This tree needs to be controlled as soon as possible to prevent further
spread, and damage to natural plant communities.
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