Species Parade, Week Two

IMG_8133I’m reading Wallace Stenger’s Beyond the 100th Meridian, John Wesley Powell and the Second Opening of the West.

In 1883, Powell was telling Westerners and prospective Westerners: “Gentlemen, you are piling up a heritage of conflict and litigation over water rights, for there is not sufficient water to supply the land.”

Bit prophetic, eh?

In the very hot (and very cold), there is a stillness with animals as they conserve their bodily resources of energy and hydration. There seems to be less going on in the hills and fields around me. They appear at watering holes, like the one I’ve set in the yard (see right), and come out more at dawn and dusk.

We count 36 species in our second weekly tally of birds and mammals in and around UtahOutsider. We saw them, heard them,

A squirrel sounds the alarm from on high.

A squirrel sounds the alarm from on high.

or did both in our approximate area of the Oquirrh mountains, at 5,800 feet as well as on the road to southern Utah. On a trek to Delta, we saw at least a dozen hawks lining the road, perching on telephone poles or irrigation lines. Raptors continue to confound me. Some day, my ID skills will improve! And we saw the stunning Steller’s Jay on a nearby backcountry trek to about 8,000 feet.

I did finally identify the owl whoo’s been floating above me whenever I pass through a specific gully. It’s a Great Horned (see right).

Follow our weekly updates to appreciate the outstanding opportunities for wildlife spotting ‘round these parts!

Mammals:

Black Tailed Jackrabbit

Cottontail Rabbit

Mule Deer

Coyote

Rock Squirrel

Great Horned Owl

Great Horned Owl

Birds:

House finch

Titmouse

Chickadee

Goldfinch

Bushtit

Red-Tailed Hawk

Osprey

Common Raven

Scrub Jay

Magpie

Turkey

Dark-Eyed Junco

Hawks (Red-tailed, Ferruginous, or Prairie Falcon. I'm hopeless.)

Hawks (Red-tailed, Ferruginous, or Prairie Falcon. I’m hopeless.)

Ringed Turtle Dove

Mountain Bluebird

Lazuli Bunting

Meadowlark

Rufous-sided Towhee

Rufous Hummingbird

Broad Tailed Hummingbird

Chipping sparrow

California Quail

Black headed grosbeak

House wren

American Kestrel

Turkey Vulture

Common Poor Will

Common Nighthawk

Great Horned Owl

Northern Oriole

California Gull (because I went to the dump)

Killdeer

Steller’s Jay