Urban Wildlife of Phoenix

The last few times I’ve logged into WordPress, the typically blank page has been supplemented with a simple prompt. I’ve been lacking motivation lately, so I’ll bite.

When I was young, my father wore the same shirt every time he did yard work. The shirt had skeletons and read: “Arizona… but it’s a dry heat.” Despite being surrounded by wildlife throughout my childhood, I viewed my desert home as a place of imminent death and dad jokes.

I grew up in the fastest-growing county in the country, back before it was such. Letters to pen pals proudly stated that I lived in the “hay capital of the world” and humbly admitted the everything smelled like cows. Along with the neighboring farms and their fragrant livestock, we had lots of jackrabbits and many birds.

The Phoenix metropolitan area has expanded out beyond recognition over the course of my life, creating a 80-mile by 80-mile grid of roads, homes, and businesses. Despite that, the Phoenix suburbs are filled with wildlife.

On a daily basis, I see daredevil quail who eagerly speed in front of oncoming cars with a dozen chicks in tow. I see cactus wrens and curve-billed thrashers peeking out from saguaros, as well as gila woodpeckers hammering away at palm trees. I see (and hear) the gregarious rosy faced love birds, and desert cottontail rabbits nibbling on folidage. Oh, and we can’t forget the thousands of ankle-biting Canadian geese that keep forgetting to go home in the summer.

On a less frequent basis, I see the regal bald eagles, sorta-cute-but-awfully-mean javelinas, roaming coyotes, dumpster-diving and sewer-dwelling raccoons, goofy mountain goats, rodent-eating gopher and king snakes, and venomous rattlesnakes.

How about you? Do you ever see wild animals around your home?

10 thoughts on “Urban Wildlife of Phoenix

  1. I love the detailed names and descriptions of the wildlife in your city. I see coyotes, deer, squirrels, chipmunks, wild turkeys, bald eagles, hawks, chickadees, cardinals, orioles, butterflies. We do not have venomous snakes. My brother in FL was recently bit (and hospitalized) by a Water Moccasin. Very painful!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. We sometimes see spiders (although I try not to) and pincher bugs. Does that count? Oh, the occasional kit fox too. But that’s about it, so I loved your descriptions, as well as the pictures you shared!


    1. I would be so excited to see a little kit fox! I would try to avoid the spiders too. I completely forgot to mention scorpions… that’s what I’m always on the lookout for, as I’ve heard the stings are extremely painful.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. We have deer and wild turkeys just about every morning here. Sometimes foxes, and in the spring wild ducks like mergansers come and dive i the river for little fishes… one year a pair had nine babies! Scariest northern mammal Iever heard here was a fisher. It is like a smaller woverine… really vicious hunters.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for sharing–it’s so neat to hear about the wildlife everywhere. I remember visiting family in Ohio as a child and being dumbfounded at the size of wild turkey. Curiosity got the best of me and I had to look up the fisher on Wikipedia… fascinating creature.


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