tses Native Wildlife Page
Tarantula Birds Bats Gopher Snake Scorpion
Tarantula Birds Bats Gopher Snake ScorpionAnimals!
These deer spend the summer in the dry creek bed in our backyard. They have no fear of our large and very large Great Danes, who spend much of their time on our deck overlooking the deer. They are not chased by the dogs and we enjoy their visits. They are not much bigger than our dogs, and after years of their territory being taken over by constant new home building are very tame, not at all afraid to come on someone's deck for a meal, and eating other peoples gardens as they forage in our area. We've avoided adding many non native plants other than cactus to our property and they do occasionally have to go and check out our cactus garden.
We have little kit foxes that pay us a visit each day, but getting a picture of these little guys has been a chore I've not been able to accomplish. After seeing one run across our backyard, with someone's cat in it's mouth, we have restricted our cat's outside trips, so that she spends the nights inside safely away from these animals.
We also have many ground squirrels that live in the rocks, in both our yard and neighboring yards. They can be very dangerous as the holes they dig have caused many a fall as they collapse under our footing! They also eat some of the pine cones, and tear up the root system of many a plant and tree!
We have a coyote who makes frequent visits to our yard, showing no fear of us at all.
Another visitor is a skunk, when he visits, we have to close our windows to avoid his strong odor. There used to be one, who visited during the day, and people would think it had to be someone's pet, until that is they got too close!!!
paper-thin wing of a Mastiff bat, the largest bat in the valley.
"And we think we're good with radar and sonar," says Chaffee Zoo educator Burleigh Lockwood of the Pallid bat's big ears. The oversized ears allow the flying mammal to collect sonar pulses at up to 200 beats per second, enabling the bat to identify its prey's species, size and location.
A Mastiff bat's uses its razor sharp teeth to devour insects. "None of the bats around here will attack us," Chaffee Zoo educator Burleigh Lockwood says.
"Photos Courtesy of Burleigh Lockwood"
We also have bats sharing our home, they live in the eaves of our house and do a good job on the insects. They are nocturnal flying mammals with forelimbs modified to form wings. They are of the order myotis lucifugus, commonly called the little brown bat. These guys come out every evening and fly around our area and return each morning just before sunrise. As we sit on our deck in the evening we are often entertained with their diving at insects as they fly around for there food. Check out the razor sharp teeth that the bat's uses to devour insects. "None of the bats around here will attack us." I use their droppings to fertilize my plants although I'm told it is much better to use the droppings that are very old. We just sweep the droppings up and put it around our plants.
This morning at 7 am these 2 bats at left had gotten caught on a cane cactus. We had a big cactus blooming last night don't know if the scent of the flower brought them to visit. Unfortunately they didn't make it in our HOT sun.
This guy got checked out very closely. It is a 6 foot long gopher snake and eats the ground squirrels and gophers that are ever present in our yard. This one was in my way and we checked to see if it might be a rattle snake also very common around here, he was not aggressive at all and moved up on these rocks, and a squirrel went running fast. It appeared to be hungry and we didn't disturb him after he went on to the rocks. He did cooperate with us so that we could take his picture.
Animals Birds Bats Gopher Snake Scorpion
Tarantulas are often seen on the highways up here in the foothills during the late fall and after a good rain. The hairy spiders, which have up to a four inch leg span, live on our property year round. They are seldom seen except during the fall. They are not poisonous to man and they are delicate, graceful, docile arachnids that our children have played with for the short time they are out in the fall. If they get mad at you they just pull out one of the hairs on their back and throw it at you. These are probably males in search of a mate. His only interest is finding a female, his age expectancy is only ten years. He mates with six or seven females, and one female may mate several times in one year. Tarantulas don't reach maturity until about 10 years old. They have poor eye site and the males die of old age shortly after mating naturally or may be eaten by the female. The female tarantula can live up to 20 years. She builds a silver-dollar size hole, with an apron-like web around the entrance, and jumps out onto insects whose movements vibrate the web. Their diet consists of crickets, grasshoppers, hard shell insects, perhaps a small lizard, snake eggs, and baby rodents. The female lays between 500 to 100 eggs and makes a cocoon around them. The babies hatch in three weeks, and turn brown with a black spot at about seven weeks old. When they reach this age the babies scatter, and operate as individuals totally aware of only themselves.
Although tarantulas are venomous and rather formidable looking, they don't pose a danger to humans. Tarantulas don't spin a web to capture there prey, they catch it with their speed. When they seize their prey, they kill it with venom. After catching and killing their prey, they inject a powerful digestive enzyme that liquefies the insect's contents. When the inside have been sufficiently liquefied, the tarantulas sucks the insect dry and throws away the empty husk.
In October, the Coarsegold Historic Village has a Tarantula Festival in Coarsegold, CA. USA, with such events as a children's tarantula race and a live tarantula derby and a hairy leg contest for men and women. People in our area often stop on the road to let them cross.
Another arachnids we share our area with is an arachnids Scorpionida, the scorpion. They have an elongated body and a narrow segmented tail bearing a venomous sting at the tip. The ones here are only about an inch long and light brown in color. Although they do sting, and are present every where in our house, no one has been hurt bad by one. We find them all the time, and because of this do not go around our home barefooted! We have at one time or another found them in each room of our home, we've been told they move from room to room, but have never discovered a pattern to this. This year they seem to like our living room best!!!
Tarantula Animals Bats Gopher Snake Scorpion
Tarantula Animals Bats Gopher Snake ScorpionBirds!
This baby "endangered" bird got wet while flying and two of them got downed on our deck. After putting each in his own sock to warm up and dry his feathers, they each crawled out of the sock and flew away.
This baby and it brother or sister spent the day on our deck. We had to put the cat in for the day until they got their energy back up so that they could fly off.
This bird likes to drink while in flight rather than go to the feeder where it could sit on the perch to drink.
This male returned for three years and visited us daily during his brief time here. He and his mate raised three families here.
A Female drinking some of the Tang that we put out during the spring for the orioles.
This little baby is either a Hermit Thrush or a young Wood Thrush, and was on our deck for awhile and then off it flew. Thanks to Sunny Dave K for identifying it.
This blue jay is a frequent and year round visitor.
This family of blue birds were teaching a baby, probably "a cowbird nestling as it was so much bigger than it's foster parents. The female cowbird lays its egg or two in some other unfortunate birds nest and when it hatches it will kill and push out of the nest, the young of the Parent/Host birds so there will be no competition for food. They are a real parasite in the bird world I kid you not." As per, Sunny Dave K . They are at the top of a dead mullein plant and were seemingly teaching it to fly . The baby is almost twice the size of the mother and father also on the mallet plant but not as visible. We watched this activity from our deck and enjoyed the lessons it was receiving.
This Wild Turkey finally showed it self after listening to it for almost 13 years every morning, it decided to pay us a visit while we were mowing the yard, it seemed to have no fear and and ran all over before returning to the back yard where it's home must be in the rocks and little trees.
These quail are just one of many that frequent our rock watering hole. These small American game birds run more than they ever fly. As one stands at either end of the rock, on guard the others drink.
This most interesting insect appears at our son's house every year. The caterpillar is equally interesting.
Birds in Flight
This blue heron stays around our yard in the spring and was taking off for other parts of our area in this photo. Finally got an got it in the yard.
A constant sight flying over our property, this vulture is beautiful from a distant. They are an ever present bird in our area and roost in the dead trees near the biggest lake, which is just down the road from us. The picture at left was taken after a brief shower and they covered the tree, spreading their wings to dry in the breeze. This one ine the center was eating a dead squirrel.
Another bird who frequents our area is the red tailed hawk, it likes the constant supply of ground squirrels that are bountiful in our area. It feeds on these. It is also very nice to watch in flight.
The only visitor to our neighborhood that is unwelcome is the Red Headed Woodpecker who does great damage to our home and power poles in our area. This painting was done on a cupboard door in our kitchen.
Hope you liked your visit to our neighborhood. We live in the foothills below Yosemite National Park, in California, USA. Please come back again. This may be used with our permission granted to school children.
This page copyright © 1997-2011 tses
Last updated 5/25/2011
Arizona-Sonora Dessert Museum