South-East Arizona Wildlife

Despite what you may think, southern Arizona is full of a wide variety of wildlife, despite it being a desert.  The Sonoran Desert is full of life, here are a few shots I've gathered other than birds, my usual subject.  I regret the photos aren't better quality... Just waiting on that Powerball ticket to afford me really cool equipment!

Just the other side of the Whetstone Mtns is the Las Cienegas National Wildlife Refuge, which houses a population of Pronghorn Antelope. I had been hoping to catch a glimpse of the Sonoran Pronghorn, a distinct subspecies but these appear to be the "regular" ones...

They are exceptionally shy, these were taken through a 60mm Nikon spotting scope with my Nikon 995, at about 500 yards.

There was group of about 12 or 15, this was the only mature buck I saw, despite the distance he paced back and forth and eventually moved the herd over the hill.

He was a beauty... They don't allow hunting on the Reserve, at least not to my knowlege.

Thirteen-stripe ground squirrel. They eat too much bird feed, if you ask me...

Before I got the property fenced, Javelina were a problem. They not only got into the feed bins, but they eat all the cactus landscaping. One evening there was a group of about 8 in the yard. Coming out to the porch I thought I'd scare them off... They just stood there looking at me, squaring off. So I went back inside. My enthusiasm to finish the fence was renewed.

Javelina can be dangerous to dogs and domestic animals when they have young, otherwise they're fairly skittish and secretive. You can see the bumper of my car, these were probably 50 lbs or so, you judge. I hear they get larger, but I doubt much, this appeared to be a rather mature pair.

This shot, as well as the other was taken within 50 ft of our porch, just off the shop where I park my car. Previously we had only seen them at night.

Unfortunately, this was the only decent shot I got of this mule deer buck at Saguaro Natnl Park early one morning. I got within 20 yards of him, but it was so thick he actually startled me when he bolted... he was completely hidden.

We tend to attract rabbits to the bird feed we put out for the quail. Once the fence was complete and all four dogs were free to run, we haven't seen quite so many. I'm not sure why....

This tarantula was on our back door screen one night during the rainy season. The porch light draws bugs, hence the spiders. Believe it or not, this is a small one, they get much larger. Yes, we've found a couple in the house, larger than this. I just put them outside, Deanna gets a bit more nervous....

 

 

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