Field Notes

Microscopic View of a Desert Cardinal Feather

November 9, 2020

  We have two lovely cardinal species that reside in the Sky Island region, the Northern cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) and Pyrrhuloxia (Cadinalis sinuatus), also known as the desert cardinal. Pyrrhuloxia has a prominent crest on its head,…
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Friday Creature Feature: Gray Fox

November 6, 2020

Two fox species have been detected in the Sky Islands. One of these—the gray fox—is this week’s Friday creature feature! The gray fox is considered an urban-adapted species and is one of the animals listed on our FotoFauna checklist. So, grab a…
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Microscopic View of a Cholla Fruit

November 1, 2020

When you zoom in closer and closer to living things you encounter in the Sky Island region, it’s amazing what you find! I was recently drawn to look more closely…
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Can You Get a Sky Island Skunk Bingo?

October 29, 2020

After eight months of running the Border Wildlife Study, we’ve finally detected all four Sky Island skunks on our remote cameras! These four skunks are: the western spotted skunk, the hog-nosed skunk, the hooded skunk, and the striped skunk.  Here…
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10 Fun Facts for International Bat Week

October 27, 2020

Don your capes and fangs and grab your wings (but make sure to leave the garlic behind): it’s International Bat Week! Is there any better way to celebrate spooky season than with bats, one of the…
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Friday Creature Feature: Turkey Vulture

September 25, 2020

Our bird of focus for this week’s creature feature is the turkey vulture (Cathartes aura). Despite the name, turkey vultures are more vulture than turkey—they belong to the vulture family—and…
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Friday Creature Feature: Lesser Long-Nosed Bat

September 17, 2020

For this week’s Friday creature feature, let’s take a closer look at the lesser long-nosed bat (Leptonycteris yerbabuenae), one of the Sonoran Desert’s most important pollinator species for plants like agave…
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Youngsters on the Wildlife Cameras

September 9, 2020

  This is my favorite season for wildlife cameras, baby season! This year’s young are finally large enough to follow their mothers around and show up on camera. With the…
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Rock Squirrel or Gray Squirrel?

August 27, 2020

Many squirrel species are native to the Sky Island region and appear on our wildlife cameras. The two we see most often are the rock squirrel (Otospermophilus variegatus) and the Arizona gray squirrel (Sciurus arizonensis)—these two species can look very similar, but once…
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Where to Mount a Backyard Wildlife Camera

August 17, 2020

Choosing a location for a wildlife camera in your backyard is a really fun process but may require some trial and error to get just the right perspective of animals on the move around your home….
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