Field Notes

Top 10 Wildlife Photos of 2019

December 31, 2019

During the course of 2019, Sky Island Alliance has collected 9600 photos of wildlife, 6645 of those came from cameras within 5 miles of the Border. This data was collected and submitted by our volunteers and partner organizations. It was hard to select the best photos, as every image of our Sky Island wildlife is…
Read more »

Friday Creature Feature: Black-tailed Jackrabbit

December 27, 2019

Last week we highlighted the antelope jackrabbit (Lepus alleni). This week we will cover the other Lepus species that we get on our cameras, the Black-tailed jackrabbit (Lepus californicus). You can find the black-tailed jackrabbit in low-elevation deserts and scrub lands across the west. They range from Missouri in the east, to the California coasts…
Read more »

Friday Creature Feature: Antelope Jackrabbit

December 20, 2019

Surprisingly many species in the southwest are understudied, and the antelope jackrabbit (Lepus alleni) is one of them. Found only in Arizona and Northwestern Mexico. The antelope jackrabbits live in desert shrub and grasslands. They prefer open spaces where they can spot and run away from predators in plenty of time. The antelope jackrabbit is…
Read more »

Friday Creature Feature: Badger

December 13, 2019

The badger, also known as the American badger (Taxidea taxus) are a member of the weasel family. They have tan and grey bodies, and a distinctive black and white striped face. In North America, badgers live in open grasslands, deserts, and shrublands of the west. However, their range has been expanding east. Did you know…
Read more »

Friday Creature Feature: Greater roadrunner

December 6, 2019

The greater roadrunner (Geococcyx californianus) is a striking and culturally famous bird of the southwest, from classic cartoons to local hockey teams. They are a member of the cuckoo family and is closely related to the lesser roadrunner (Geococcyx velox) that lives in Mexico. You can find greater roadrunners in deserts, grasslands, and arid scrublands…
Read more »

Turkey Time in the Sky Islands!

November 28, 2019

On this day when turkeys are at the center of public attention, it is important to learn and remember the history of our own native turkey in the Sky Island region.  There are two sub-species of turkeys native to Arizona: the smaller Merriam’s turkey found in the pine forests of Northern Arizona and the Gould’s…
Read more »

Creature Feature: Ringtail

November 22, 2019

The ringtail (Bassariscus astutus) is a small omnivorous mammal that can be found across the West. Ringtails prefer rocky habitats in desert, and in oak and pine woodlands. In the desert, ringtails are often found in riparian areas where water and food are more abundant.  Did you know that the ring-tailed cat is not actually…
Read more »

Creature Feature: Western Spotted Skunk

November 1, 2019

Did you know that the Sky Island region is home to four skunk species? There are the striped, hooded, and hog-nosed skunks, but the smallest is the western spotted skunk (Spilogale gracilis). You can tell the spotted skunk apart from the other species by their distinctive marbled coat and smaller size. The male skunk they…
Read more »

Creature Feature: White-nosed coati

October 18, 2019

The white-nosed coati (Nasua narica) is a medium sized, omnivorous, mammal. You can find the white-nosed coati in the mountain and riparian areas of the Sky Island region. The coati ranges from the Southwest US, through Mexico, to Colombia in South America. There is another species of coati called the South American coati (Nasua nasua),…
Read more »

Wildlife Tracking 101: A-what-a-grade?

October 16, 2019

Animals have evolved various form of locomotion to get around. Terrestrial animals have common three types of locomotion: plantigrade, digitigrade, and unguligrade. You can see an animal’s locomotion type in their tracks, and is a tool to help you narrow down what animal made that track.  Please see our previous blog post: Anatomy of a…
Read more »