Lizard Hunting Season

"Shhh... I'm hunting lizards."
With Australia heading into the summer months Lizard Hunting Season begins. Well at least it does for our dog Oscar who gives them a serious barking tirade whenever he finds one.

Australian Blue Tongue lizards are pretty common where I live, specifically the Eastern variety. Because we live a short distance from bushland we get more than our fair share in the back garden and, on a couple of occasions, even in the house.



Eastern Blue Tongue.
Photo: Aust. Travel Guide
Despite their short little legs these lizards can run pretty fast and even jump relatively well.

When cornered they puff up their body to nearly twice its size and give a pretty intimidating hiss as a warning.

They also have a pretty nasty bite if you happen to get in the way of their sizable looking mouths. Oscar found this out the hard way one year when one got a hold of him. We heard his yelps from the garden all the way in the house. Needless to say he doesn't get too close to one that's out in the open and hissing at him.

However he will stick his face right into a hole where he knows a lizard is hiding (and hissing) - so there's a nose bite waiting to happen.

Anyway, I wouldn't mind these lizards in our garden so much if Oscar hadn't taken to sniffing them out at every opportunity, and then barking at them continuously, like they have no right to be there. It's annoying as hell when you're trying to work. Worse than when the neighbors dog won't stop barking when they're out because it's our dog that won't stop barking!

Even the lizards get tired of it because they don't exactly run away. In fact I've seen them swear under their breath and charge forward at Oscar. Ever since he got bitten he's wise to that maneuver.

I have a feeling it's going to be a long summer.

Oscar the Lizard Hunter.


4 comments:

  1. We used to get those in the garden in Whyalla, especially at Wittwer St, our first home there, as the garden was unmade for awhile and just red dust as ours and the house next door were the last two houses to be occupied. One of the neighbours a couple of doors down used to let one roam around his vegie garden as they eat the snails!

    It would be good if you could get a pillow case or towel or something to either guide the lizard into or pick it up behind the head with a towel or cloth and just put it back in the bush. If you leave them alone they are harmless. Those bearded dragons will chase you sometimes, as I've only seen on the TV, and they can't half run, as you know!

    We read in the paper once in Whyalla that someone had found one of those stumpy-tailed lizards on their toilet seat! There was one on the wall next door in Jenkinson st, but a long-tailed one and it was right next to their bathroom window which was open and they hadn't got a screen on it, so I went round to tell them to shut the window! (that was the house with the Asian lady married to an Aussie and they had the three children, two girls and the youngest a boy)

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    Replies
    1. They come into our yard from under the neighbours fence which I've now started to block off all the entry points. But these lizards are good diggers and seem to just make new spots to get in.

      I have a box that I can usually catch them in and then put them out in the front yard because once they're out there it's harder to get back in (and I can't be bothered walking all the way down to the park with them). The neighbours have a nicely landscaped yard with plenty of good rocks to sun bake on and hide behind - and they don't seem to mind the lizards so much.

      I don't mind the lizards. It's Oscar who's a pain with them because he seeks them out. Then if Bailey sees them he's big enough and dumb enough to pick them up in his mouth and throw them around. It's just not safe for the lizards to be in our backyard.

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  2. Your summer is coming, and our winter is here. Didn't realize that. Are the Corella's coming soon too? Or is that a different time of year? Oscar thinks its his job to get those lizzies off his property. I hope he stays safe.

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    Replies
    1. I think the Corells's are more of a Spring time phenomenon as they're usually here when the trees are very green.

      Since I wrote this I've seen Oscar on several occasions barrel straight in and grab a lizard by the body and start shaking it around. So he clearly knows not to go for it's head anymore.

      Fortunately he's not strong enough to break their skin and hasn't actually killed any before I've stopped him but it's pretty confronting to see how a normally cute dog can be so violent.

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