Sky Island Wildlife

I’m just back from a few days exploring one of Arizona’s sky islands. After receiving a bit of monsoon rainfall, the wildflowers and wildlife were quite abundant and the formerly dry landscape had turned green with new plant growth.

Can anyone help ID this plant? Copyright: Greg Joder.

Beautiful Lupine flowers with butterfly pollinator. Copyright: Greg Joder.

While exploring I also checked three trail cameras I’ve had in the region for several months. It was exciting to see all the critters captured by the cameras, including a sow black bear with two cubs.

I also had the chance to get this beautiful rattlesnake to move off the road:

Rattlesnake enjoying the morning sun. Copyright: Greg Joder.

 

A Big Little Owl & Black Bear Cub

Here are two interesting camera trap videos, one from my yard and one from Arizona’s Sky Islands. The first video shows an alarmed Western screech owl in a birdbath during the day. She was trying to escape the 107 degree temps and her nestbox was too hot. I think a Cooper’s hawk landed on the fence near the birdbath.

In this second video, a black bear cub has a swim with her mom then takes an interest in my camera trap:

Night Blooming Cactus Timelapse

A cactus that I replanted from a short stalk about three years ago finally decided it was time to bloom. I have no idea what species this is. Still, beautiful and fragrant. I was hoping there would be a few bat or large moth pollinators, but it appears only small beetles, moths, and bees visited the flowers. The time-lapse below is about 6 hours compressed into four minutes.

 

Night-blooming cactus flowers, the morning after. Copyright: Greg Joder

There were other cactus around the yard that were also blooming this morning:

Copyright: Greg Joder.

Pollination in action. Copyright: Greg Joder.

Mini cactus forest in bloom. Copyright: Greg Joder.

Nighttime Wildlife Action

Last night was pretty interesting. Lot’s of wildlife action, though most fascinating to me are the screech owl and desert cottontail rabbit interactions. I am so comforted to know my backyard offers an oasis for the wild critters. What do you think?

Bobcat Kittens!

I’ve had a camera trap set on my backyard pond going on 7 years continuously. I generally check the cameras every morning to see what critters have stopped by. In that time I’ve found adult bobcats to be quite common. However, this morning I was surprised to see the resident bobcat had brought her young kittens in for a drink last night.

 

Screech Owls Enduring the Heat

Yes, I am an opportunistic wildlife observer. So, yes, another western screech owl post. More than six weeks after fledging, the owlets are still hanging around with their mom and dad. In this clip, two fledglings are in the suspended bird bath with, who I believe, is their dad (based on plumage characteristics and over 4 months of observation). The temps have been high, 105 degrees and above (40+ Celsius).