Cane Toad (Bufo marinus)
Location: Kohala Coast, Big Island, Hawaii
I have posted a number of photos of various birds that frequent our garden during the day. Now, meet the Cane Toad (Bufo marinus), one of the critters who work the night shift in our garden. He won't win a beauty contest, although he does make an interesting photo subject nonetheless.
These amphibians come out after dark in search of food and water. Normally they eat things like insects, snails and slugs -- but we have witnessed several Cane Toads gobbling cat food from a bowl that happened to be left out on the porch overnight.
Cane Toads seek out damp areas of the garden, and they seem to know when our garden gets watered. We have seen them position themselves directly under the emitters of our irrigation system, waiting for a shower. There is a large terra cotta saucer near our ground level bird feeder. Placed there as a water source for birds, the water in it is refreshed automatically twice a day via our garden irrigation system. Birds frequent it all day long to drink and bathe. The Cane Toads use it in the evening. We have seen up to five Cane Toads at once, lolling together in that ground level bird bath as if it were their personal spa. So, they're not pretty -- but believe me, they are not as dumb as they look!