Our favorite animals in Key West are the feral roosters you see everywhere. You won't have trouble spotting them; the tourist brochures say there are 2,000 "wild" chickens on the island. They roost in the bushes. Mother hens guide tiny chicks across busy streets. They scurry around outdoor cafes.
- Photo gallery: The animal tour of the Keys
The final Key West animal attraction is the Key West Aquarium. Built as a Depression-era public works project, it opened in 1934 -- a year before the Labor Day storm destroyed Henry Flagler's railroad to Key West. Since then, it has expanded and specializes in daily shark and turtle feedings. It's located at 1 Whitehead St. at Mallory Square.
6. Pelicans and other sea birds.
The best time to visit the Florida Keys Wild Bird Center in Tavernier, a couple miles south of Key Largo, is at 3:30 p.m. -- feeding time for the pelicans.
Every day, a few buckets of fish are thrown out to supplement the diets of wild brown pelicans who live in the area, and the birds -- somewhat prehistoric looking with their long, flat, clapping beaks and plodding waddle -- come by the hundreds in hopes of getting in on the handout.
You can volunteer to help give the fish out, but be forewarned: This is not a job for the squeamish, as the birds can get aggressive and the fish are not particularly pleasant to touch or smell.
7. The creatures in the deep
No animal tour of the Keys would be complete without an encounter in the water with the creatures of the sea.
This can be elaborate taking organized snorkeling trips from John Pennekamp State Park or it can be as simple as putting on a snorkel mask and peering under docks and along rocky shores. Doing the latter, we've seen everything from colorful reef fish to a shy octopus.
An alternative for those who don't swim well is the glass-bottom-boat tours out of Pennekamp.