are considered to be rather good parents; both father and mother
feed the pups with regurgitated food from their hunts. After a
gestation period of about sixty days, a coyote mother may give
birth to a litter that may range in size from one to nineteen
pups. It then takes roughly thirty-five days to completely wean
them. Coyotes grow surprisingly fast and reach their full size
within one year of birth. Nearly mature male pups tend to leave
the pack while female pups stay behind to form the pack's
communicate through a series of yips, barks, and howls. While
they can be heard at any time of day, it is most common to hear
them around dusk when they become active. Coyotes have been
known to mate with dogs, especially in states like Texas where
their numbers are plentiful. Coyotes have even been known to
mate with wolves, although this is a rare occurrence as wolves
tend to be hostile to the smaller species.
the nuisance that coyotes may pose for humans, they are a
revered part of the natural landscape and figure deeply into the
myths and stories of Arizona's colorful past.
some people may call them "cute", Javelinas are
arguably rather ugly animals and possess a rather unpleasant
odor which is why some people refer to them as "musk
hogs". They aren't wild pigs but are actually members of
the "peccary" family that originated in South America.
They have become accustomed to being in close proximity to
humans and will generally ignore people. If you try and approach
them. they will simply leave the area, but if provoked and
threatened they've been known to defend themselves with their
long, sharp tusks.
are most active at night and exist on a diet of flowers,
berries, prickly pear cactus and plant life. Thet have a keen
sense of smell but have very poor eyesight. Their odor comes
from a scent gland on their backs and other members of the herd
will rub each others scent gland to identify Javelina from
different herds. Aggressive displays will be made to intruding
to the Arizona Game and Fish Department, there are 36 species of
rattlesnakes of which 13 species live in Arizona. Although most
rattlesnakes inhabit the desert areas, they do exist in just
about every region of Arizona including high elevation forested
areas. Some types of rattlesnakes are secretive and live in
remote areas far away from people. But some species, like the
Western Diamondback hangout in places where humans are active
such as golf courses, edges of lakes, along hiking trails and
even in suburban backyards.
best way to avoid being bitten is not getting too close to one.
Although a rattlesnake will bite out of defense when suddenly
surprised, rattlesnakes have a fear of people and when detected
will sliver in the opposite direction. Most bites happen when
people harass them. If you come across a rattlesnake, observe
its beauty from a distance and let the snake go on its way. From
a coiled position, a rattlesnake can strike at a distance of
about about half to two-thirds of its body length, so you do not
want to get too close.
believe the myth that all rattlesnakes will warn you by
Some will and some won't. A young rattlesnake may not yet have
rattles on its tail. Some types are more aggressive than others
and will immediately strike when they feel threatened or is
are a few tips on avoiding a rattlesnake bite and safety
are most active in the evening and a night when they do most
of their hunting. They are usually very active in the early
spring after remaining inactive during the winter months.
best not to hike in wilderness areas after dark. Carry a
walking stick and keep it forward to let snakes know you are
approaching their area.
hiking, wear hiking boots and loose-fitting pants to deflect
hike alone and have a cell phone.
on trails. Avoid high grassy areas and dense vegetation that
observant. Do not step on or across logs. Do not blindly
place hands between crevices in boulders or stick them
inside burrows. Look closely before sitting on boulders or
you hear the "rattle", freeze. Look carefully to
locate the rattlesnake and move slowly in the opposite
dead rattlesnake can still bite through reflex. Do not touch
a dead snake. Even a decapitated head of a snake will still
bite for a period of time after decapitation.
most famous bird in the Sonoran Desert, without a doubt, the
Roadrunner is also the most fictionalized in popular
imagination. Cowboys used to tell tall tales about how
Roadrunners would seek out rattlesnakes to pick fights, or would
find sleeping rattlers and build fences of cactus joints around
them. A later generation of Americans grew up thinking that
Roadrunners were purple and cried beep beep as they sped about.
without such stretches or inventions, the real Roadrunner is
impressive. Running in the open (and not just on roads), it
reaches fifteen miles per hour. It can fly, but usually doesn't.
Often it seems curiously unafraid of humans. Trotting up close
to peer at us, raising and lowering its mop of a shaggy crest,
flipping its long tail about expressively, it looks undeniably
zany. It comes as no surprise to learn that the Roadrunner is a
member of the cuckoo family.
it may appear to human eyes, but the Roadrunner is a very
effective predator. Its speed on foot is not just for show: it
captures not only snakes and large insects, but also
fast-running lizards, rodents, and various small birds. Gambels
Quail may pay scant attention to the Roadrunner at most seasons,
but they react to it violently when they have small young, and
with good reason: given an opportunity, the Roadrunner will
streak in to grab a bite-sized baby quail.