Archive for ‘Nature Notes’

Snakes Alive!

A little excitement here this evening, we found a Common Kingsnake (Lampropeltis getula) in our yard. It was at least two feet long, glossy, and quite healthy looking. It quickly decided that it did not want to hang out with us and slithered under the fence. It feels good to have one living nearby since they are known to eat rattlesnakes.

Here’s a couple shots of the snake peeking out from its safe place. And the reactions from Bailey and Wylie. As you can see, old Bailey was not nearly as interested as young Wylie.


Jurassic World Vocals

Excellent article from Audubon showcasing the wide variety of bird sounds used to vocalize the dinosaurs in the smash summer hit Jurassic World. Very fitting since birds and dinosaurs are so closely related!

If you haven’t seen the movie yet, do so. It was a fun romp, the special effects are amazing, and there is a moral aspect to it that should leave you with plenty to ponder.

And because I’m a Parrothead – keep your eyes peeled for the guy “rescuing” not one but two margaritas. It’s Jimmy Buffett’s cameo and a perfect role for him.

11941813723_f0804daf35_bHarris’s Hawk, Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, 12-27-2013

Talking Buffelgrass on TV

To be clear, buffelgrass doesn’t talk. I was interviewed* by Domenica Fuller of KVOA news yesterday during one of my buffelgrass removal projects. I appreciated the opportunity since my job is to raise awareness about the hazards of buffelgrass. And the best part? I didn’t make a fool of myself!

Screen shot 2015-05-03 at 2.00.28 PM*To watch the news story: click on the link above, once the KVOA page loads, click on the lead photo to start the video.

Fun Virtual Birding

I just found out about this cool new online birding video game developed by Mr. Nussbaum, a teacher and avid birder. I figured I better spend a few minutes and check it out (ya know, in the interest of research). So far, the game showcases 4 locations back east and uses real bird data. I found it to be well-designed; you can choose between Beginner and Advanced, there are several different views/angles of each species, features different habitats, and includes bird songs. If the game is well-received Mr. Nussbaum promises to add birds and locations. Therefore, I expect it to be growing soon!

I gave each location a whirl and did fairly well, though to be honest, my warbler and sparrow skills need serious work. I dabbled around long enough to rack up over 35,000 points. I was having such a good time it was hard to wren-ch myself away (pun intended).

Give it a try, I think you’ll like it!

Screen shot 2015-04-29 at 9.34.49 PM

All About Nests

A new show by Nature, Animal Homes, airs tonight on PBS focusing on Nests. While that is interesting enough, the best part is that they filmed hummingbirds at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum for the show!

I know I’ll be watching. Even better, I get to head over to the Desert Museum this weekend in person. I will not only see hummingbird nests, but eggs and fledglings, too. Not to mention the baby bighorn sheep that was born this week as well as the new black bear cub.

For those of you who can’t visit, watching the show will have to do!


Cat in Tree

Cruz is a two-year old male mountain lion, residing at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum. When he was about four months old he was found in a backyard in southern California, scared and emaciated. After California Game & Fish rescued him they knew he wouldn’t be able to fend for himself in the wild (he hadn’t learned any of the needed skills) so they started looking for a permanent home. Thankfully, ASDM had space available and Cruz came to Tucson.

Cruz was very lively today, I wonder if it was the lovely weather or a case of spring fever that riled him up?