Animals in the Yard

by candy47

A glimpse of the Arizona desert wildlife and not so wild life, that I see from my back door.

I love living in the southwest section of the United States, where the sun shines every day and it's always warm...well, warm in comparison to the northeast!

So I look out my back door and see cactus and Joshua trees for miles. Every morning I make a cup of tea and sit outside on the deck and wait for the animals to come along for a visit. Cottontail rabbits and birds of many feathers stop by for breakfast and then again for dinner everyday.

Then there are a few other animals that stroll along once in a while. I've tried to capture photos of all the animals in the yard.

All photos and videos by Candy Dorsey ©2016
Do Not Copy or Remove

Cottontail Rabbits

They're So Smart!

These cottontail rabbits, and more, join me for breakfast and dinner everyday. They are obviously very intelligent rabbits because they can read the 'Bunny Crossing' sign.  They like raw carrots and they also eat the wild bird seed!

Bunny Crossing
Bunny Crossing

Peek-a-Boo, I see you. Do you see me? I live in the tree.

Collared Lizard
Collared Lizard

Do you see who lives in the tree?

Ground Squirrel

Too Cute!

Much smaller than a standard squirrel, the ground squirrel closely resembles a chipmunk in size and color including stripes on it's back. The ground squirrel lacks the facial markings which distinguish them from a chipmunk.


The ground squirrels, as you may have guessed, live in the ground. They will burrow an entrance into the ground and form their living quarters then burrow an exit in the opposite direction, giving them two ways to escape if necessary.


They are very cute but don't be fooled, they can do a lot of damage to a home if the get inside or underneath.


Ground Squirrel
Ground Squirrel
Ground Squirrel
Ground Squirrel

Cattle Call

It was just an average afternoon, I was sitting on the deck enjoying the peace and tranquility of the desert when I got company. There are cattle ranches nearby and this is an open range area so the cattle roam freely. They aren't dangerous to humans or animals, eating mainly vegetation.

Cows Visiting
Cows Visiting

Professional Landscape Designers

They work for free!

I have an Acacia tree at the edge of my property that sometimes gets a little unruly and needs to be trimmed. Fortunately there are professional landscapers who do the job for me for free.

Professional Landscape Designers
Professional Landscape Designers

Fluffy on a Mug!

Available at Zazzle

And here they are in a face-off. No, this is not a mirror image

Bunny Face-off
Bunny Face-off

This is the start of an ongoing feud between two bunnies!

So Many Birds

Gambel's Quail

I see the Gambel's Quail everyday.  They are non-migratory because they don't fly...not much anyway.  Their flight behavior is very short distances with rapid bursts of wing movement.  These photos are of a male quail, the face is black, the females face is light grey.  They were named after an American naturalist, William Gambel.  Both the male and female have that crest protruding from their head.  In the second photo you can see a ground squirrel at the top of a branch, staring at the bird.  I don't know why, they aren't enemies.

Gambel's Quail - Male
Gambel's Quail - Male
Quail and Ground Squirrel
Quail and Ground Squirrel

There Are Spiders...


This was the first time that I ever saw one of these close up and in person.  I'll admit I was a little apprehensive about getting a picture so I kept my distance.



...and Flies

Robber Fly

The robber fly is also called the assassin fly.  I think they are aptly named.  They are large and strong predators who usually catch their prey of smaller flies, in flight.

Robber Fly
Robber Fly

Great Horned Owl

The Great Horned Owls make their appearance in late February or early March and stay throughout the summer. They aren't as sociable as most of the other birds and they are, as you know, nocturnal.


You can imagine my surprise and awe when I stepped out of my car with grocery bags in hand and saw this gorgeous owl looking directly at me from a Joshua tree. I immediately dropped my bags to the ground, fumbled for my camera and started snapping, I wanted to get a good picture before he flew away. Turns out he was quite happy to pose for the camera, as I got several good shots.

Eyes Wide Open
Eyes Wide Open

Great Horned Owl iPhone Case

See it at Zazzle

Two Owls in a Joshua Tree

These two young owls were in a Joshua tree in front of my house.  I think owls like to have their picture taken!

Cactus Wren

State Bird of Arizona

Since 1931 the Cactus Wren has been the state bird of Arizona.  They are all over the place, make a lot of noise and don't let anyone get in their way!  The males are the nest builders, building 4 or 5 nests then living in only one.  The other nests are decoys.  Below is a picture of a Cactus Wren taking a piece of cat food.  He didn't eat it, he flew away with it in his beak then came back for more.  I suppose it was for a nest.  They are easily identified by the white stripe over each eye, both male and female.

Cactus Wren Stealing Cat Food
Cactus Wren Stealing Cat Food

The Big Black Cat

Okay, you caught me, this is not a wild animal.  This is my neighbor's cat 'Fluffy' and it seems that he wanted to have his picture taken.  As you can see, he was waiting and watching in stealth mode behind a bush, then he ran out for a full profile action pose. Fluffy never disappoints!

Meet Fluffy

Stealth Cat
Stealth Cat
Action Cat
Action Cat

You Can Write About Your Experiences Too! It's Easy At Wizzley!


Updated: 04/29/2017, candy47
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What's in your yard?

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candy47 on 09/08/2017

The lizard is in the center of the photo. He's facing towards the right and has a small but noticeable black collar. Good luck!!

DerdriuMarriner on 09/06/2017

candy47, Please tell where the collared lizard is in your photo!

candy47 on 06/07/2017

Thanks Marcie. Me too!!!

Marcie Hammers on 06/07/2017

This is a great blog, Candy! I'm lovin' the way you are spending your retirement!

candy47 on 09/04/2016

Thanks Nancy. It's so quiet and peaceful here, and I love watching the animals!

Nancy Carol Brown Hardin on 09/04/2016

Candy, I love this. I love the bits of information about the animals and birds that you put into your posts. So much fun reading and learning about these critters. What a great place to live!

candy47 on 06/01/2016

Thank you Veronica. Stay warm during those winter months!

Veronica on 06/01/2016

How lovely.

Beautiful as it is, we can't sit outside very often in the North of England .......especially at night. In fact from the end of October, we often have the heating on 24 hours a day. :)

candy47 on 05/31/2016

I also love sitting outside in the evening. The stars are bright and I can sometimes see planets. Venus is always visible, Mars makes an occasional appearance.

Veronica on 05/31/2016

You are so right. If you find a place where you can be at peace, you have found everything. It is like a prayer ; a lifting up of the heart and mind.

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