Because Tucson Estates backs up to Tucson Mountain Park,
wildlife abounds in and around our community. Frequently seen are deer,
javelina, rabbits, coyotes, and bobcats. Some have even seen an occasional
mountain lion. Reptiles, lizards, snakes, and toads are also prevalent. The
Sonoran Desert is not only home to many native species of birds including
hawks, cactus wrens, quail, cardinals, roadrunners, and sparrows, but it sits
along a migratory path of cranes, hummingbirds, raptors, etc. that is often
busier than the Interstate. These animals, reptiles, and birds share our desert
and we have all learned to live happily together!
But be careful, they are wild and can inflict injury to an unsuspecting human or pet.
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The mournful cry of a single coyote turns into a yipping party
of his friends and family. Coyotes exist in a highly flexible social organization,
living either in nuclear families or in loosely-knit packs of unrelated
individuals. Its diet consisting primarily of other animals so it is important
to ensure your cats and small dogs are always protected.
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This medium-sized, (3 – 4 foot, 50 pound) hoofed mammal has a
strong resemblance to a pig with a snout and small eyes, but distinctive from a
pig by its feet, teeth/tusks, diet, and musky smell. They are often seen in
yards because their preferred foods consist of roots, grasses, seeds, fruit, and cacti—particularly prickly pear. They are very social and usually seen in small groups. They will charge if threatened so stay away.
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Not only found in cartoons, road runners are fun to see
running in the Sonoran desert. They are a fast-running (some clocked at 20
mph), slender, black-brown and white-streaked ground cuckoo with a long tail
and distinctive head crest. Its diet
normally consists of insects, small reptiles (including rattlesnakes), rodents
and small mammals, spiders (including tarantulas), scorpions, centipedes, snails,
small birds (and nestlings), eggs, and fruits and seeds like those from prickly
pear cacti and sumacs.
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Before visiting the Sonoran desert, make sure you know the
characteristics of a rattlesnake. With a triangular head, thick dull body,
diamond-type markings, and a rattle tail, it is often mistaken for a Bull or
Gopher snake. Both snakes are critical in keeping the rodent population in
check so they should not be killed. But stay clear; rattlesnakes can kill you or
your pet. The Fire Department will respond to a snake call and remove it from
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Quail generally live on the ground.
Although they are capable of short bursts of strong flight, quail prefer to
walk and will only take off explosively as a last resort. The family is
generally thought to be monogamous. Males have brighter plumage on the head
than the females. Nest are constructed on the ground and the tiniest chicks leave
the nests quickly, scurrying across the desert behind their parents in large