Field Notes

Tips and Tricks to ID wildlife photos

February 12, 2020

Not all of our wildlife images are Instagram worthy, our cameras take tens of thousands of photos each year and the majority of them are just of animals moving about their day. Being able to pick out and identify animals in each wildlife camera is a skill and requires training your eye to look for….
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Friday Creature Feature: White-tailed deer

February 7, 2020

The white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) is native all the way from Southern Canada to Central  America. They thrive in many habitat types including, mountains, swamps, shrublands, and rainforests. In all these ecosystems, the deer prefer dense thickets for cover, with open grassy edges for food. In the Southwest white-tailed deer can be found at higher…
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How to check your wildlife camera

February 5, 2020

If you haven’t read the previous post about setting up a camera, I highly recommend it, find it here: How SIA Sets Up Our Wildlife Cameras If you have read our previous blog post about how to set-up a wildlife camera, you are now ready to learn how to check your camera. This protocol is…
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Friday Creature Feature: Mule deer

February 2, 2020

You can find mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) across Western North American. From central Mexico to southern Alaska. They inhabit the deserts, grasslands, chaparral, forests and mountains of the region. In Southern Arizona, they are frequently seen at lower elevations in the deserts and grasslands, but they will move to higher elevations during the warm summer…
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Cameras and Corridors

January 25, 2020

Sky Island Alliance’s mission is to protect and restore the diversity of life and lands in the Sky Island region. This unique region bridges the Colorado Plateau in the US and the Sierra Madre Occidental in Mexico through a series of ‘Sky Islands’ in Arizona and Sonora that rise out of desert seas and provide vibrant mountain habitat for plants, animals, and people of the southwest.  At…
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Friday Creature Feature: White-throated woodrat

January 24, 2020

2020 is the Year of the Rat in the Chinese zodiac, and with the Chinese New Year tomorrow, we at Sky Island are celebrating one of the native rat species in the region! The white-throated woodrat (Neotoma albigula) is one of the several native species of woodrat in Arizona. You will commonly see the white-throated…
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How we set up our wildlife cameras

January 18, 2020

Wildlife cameras are a useful tool to study wildlife in a non-invasive approach and answer many questions about wildlife behavior, occupancy, abundance, and land usage. At Sky Island Alliance, we use wildlife cameras to gather crucial data on wildlife species in the region. This data helps us inform the public and policy makers about the unique diversity we have in the binational region.   In the last decade, wildlife cameras have become cheaper…
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Friday Creature Feature: Gray Hawk

January 17, 2020

The gray hawk (Buteo plagiatus) is a medium-sized, silvery gray hawk, that has white underparts, a black tail with white banding and yellow legs. The gray hawk ranges from the Amazon rain forest all the way to the southwestern United States. They are migratory only at the North end of their range, where they arrive…
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Friday Creature Feature: Great Horned Owl

January 10, 2020

Their name comes from the horn-like feather tufts on the tops of their heads. The tufts are darker than the rest of the head, which improves their camouflage. As masters of disguise, their overall color is dependent on their location. So here in the desert, great horned owls are a lighter gray coloration while those in…
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Friday Creature Feature: Desert Cottontail

January 3, 2020

Continuing our lagomorph series of creature features, this week we are leaving the hares and go to the other group, the rabbits!   Rabbits and Jackrabbits are genetic cousins but are not in the same genus. Besides size and appearance, the main difference between the two groups is how they raise their young. As we discussed…
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