26 March 2012

Local wildlife

Arizona is the only state in the United States where parts of the only four deserts in North America can be found: the Great Basin, Mojave, Chihuahuan, and the Sonoran deserts. The Sonoran desert is the largest in AZ and is very rich in plant and wild life.  This means walks with the dogs can be very, very interesting.  Here is a sample of the wildlife my dogs and I have encountered (not always close up, TG) on our walks throughout Anthem AZ & environs.

The ubiquitous cottontail rabbit; they are everywhere & I mean, everywhere! Anytime my dogs spot or smell one, it means coming to a dead stop while they point it.  The thing is, most of the rabbits just stay put! Even if I yell at them to move along, they don't.  Sometimes it means my arms get yanked off as dogs try to go in different directions when they encounter these critters.

The ubiquitous Gambrel's Quail.

These quail are very plentiful - like house sparrows back in Ontario. We have them rousting in a tree at the front of our house. Their melodic call can be heard early in the morning and throughout the day. They are forever dodging traffic to run across roads.They are much prettier than Bobwhite quail.

Bobcat (pic source: http://louisfranklinjonas.blogspot.com/2010_03_01_archive.html)
March 25th was the first time I spotted a Bobcat - in the country club - where sightings have been seen before.  The coloring confused me because the one I saw was quite a dark rust color but I understand their hues can vary. I wondered at first if it was a coyote or a fox but the lack of tail, the small ears and the saunter were clues to me that this was something different, i.e., not a coyote or fox. And it certainly was NOT a mountain lion. It smelled and saw us and decided to move away and wandered across the street and into a wash.
Roadrunner (Geococcyx californianus)

Wild burros
Javalina - a collared peccary (source:http://www.gatewaytosedona.com/article/id/379/page/1)

And then there are rattlesnakes.  The dogs & I haven't actually seen one on our walks but when I was on a house tour yesterday with Hubs, we did see one (sans dogs, TG).  It's pictured below and it's a Western Diamondback rattlesnake.  Hubs took this photo and was far too close to it for my comfort.


  1. Wow, that's amazing! Such a variety of wildlife there. Who knew?

  2. Gosh - seems a little scary!

  3. I also found a snake yesterday! Lucky for me it was just a garter snake because I was really up close and personal! S/he also didn't look as angry as your snake!