Community’s Choice: The 19 Best FotoFauna Photos of 2021

On December 16, Sky Island Alliance and Saguaro National Park co-presented the second annual “Sky Island FotoFauna Best Of” event to celebrate twelve months of wildlife across the Sky Island region.

Participants from all corners of the region — including Show Low, Arizona and Hermosillo, Sonora — found a sense of delight and wonder through the FotoFauna project last year. Observing the antics of wildlife provided much-needed relief from the pressures of a changing pandemic, and as a result, nearly 1,000 FotoFauna checklists were submitted to the project in 2021. 

That’s a lot of photos to go through! But we (joyfully) endured — and for the event were able to narrow down the submissions of this incredible wildlife community to 50 photos across 15 categories. 

Then came the moment of truth. You voted and decided the winners. 

Without further ado, we are pleased to announce the 19 best photos of FotoFauna 2021. These include photos from 15 categories that the community voted on as well as four Special Award photos that awed and inspired us. We hope you enjoy looking through this collection of 2021 favorites as much as we did.

P.S. It’s a new month, time to let us know what you saw on your cameras in December 2021. And be sure to mark your calendars for December 2022 — when we’ll be back to host the next year-end photo celebration. We can’t wait!

[Community’s Choice: The 19 Best FotoFauna Photos of 2020]

Shades of Green: Bear (NPS) 

Young of the Year: Foxes (Matsushita) 

Enjoying the View: Coyote (Jill Wheatley)

Best Dressed: Ringtail (Brit Rosso) 

Mighty Mouthfuls: Fox and Snake (Matsushita)

All Around Town: Hawk (PJ Cicero) 

Fabulous Forests: Cow and Bear (Aide) 

Nightlife: Standing Ringtail (Brit Rosso) 

Selfies: Great Blue Heron (Guadelupe Medina) 

Wild Sonora: Mountain Lion (Daniela)

Sonoran Hares: Jumping Hare (Leonel Santacruz) 

Life by Water: Mountain Lion (J Rorabaugh) 

Amazing Raptors: Great Horned Owl (Miguel) 

Amphibians & Reptiles: A Quail Looking at a Lizard (Middy)

Among Saguaro: Howling Coyote (Pam Rossetter)

Special Award: Cliff Chipmunk (Friends of Redington Pass)

Special Award: Hummingbird (O D Ruiz Ozuna)

Special Award: Spotted Skunk and Gray Fox (Narca)

Special Award: Desert Tortoise (Paul Jehle)

Haven’t joined FotoFauna yet? We’d love to have you!

Start the year out right with this informative intro to the project.