Untamed Land

Untamed Land
Untamed Land

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Beauties From Southeast Arizona

All of the photos on this post were taken by Maggie who lives in Tucson. This Red-faced Warbler was on Mt. Lemmon, which is a Sky Island above the desert city of Tucson.
Red-faced Warblers are different from most other species of warblers because they nest on the ground. This photo reminds me of an experience involving Red-faced Warblers that I had on the slopes of Volcan de Fuego in the Mexican state of Colima. I was with Scott and Jean and we saw some Red-faced Warblers in a small ravine. There were Painted Redstarts with them which occupy similar habitats. We also saw a red breasted, Slate-throated Redstart with them. (incredible bird)
A little further up we saw the near mythical Red Warblers on the same day. Four of the most beautiful of all warbler species right in the same area. I remember asking myself which of the four was the most beautiful?
In my mind, the Painted Redstarts take the prize; not only for their looks, but also for their magical dance. They must be seen to be believed.
Another warbler from Mt. Lemmon, the Black-throated Gray Warbler.
Like the Red-faced Warbler, the Yellow-eyed Junco has a restricted range north of the border. Only occurring on the Sky Islands, (isolated mountains surrounded by desert) of Southeastern Arizona.
Going back down to the desert; the rest of the photos of this post were shot by Maggie in Sabino Canyon outside of Tucson. This is a Black-necked Garter Snake. 
An adult female, Desert spiny Lizard.
This is a younger version of the photo above. Just look at those beautiful scales.
A big male, Desert Spiny Lizard.  These guys can display some incredible colors in the right conditions.
See what I mean? This is a pair of Desert Spiny Lizards. They belong to a large family of New World lizards, (sceloporus) also called fence lizards or swifts. They are known colloquially as 'blue-bellies'. Not all species have blue bellies, some have, pink, orange, or yellow bellies. Spiny Lizards are the largest of the bunch.
Another interesting lizard, Greater Earless Lizard. That's right, no ears. just incredible speed. It also has a strikingly marked underside.

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