Weird urban wildlife sighting

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JimmyLyding
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Weird urban wildlife sighting

Post by JimmyLyding » Oct 29 2009 8:18 pm

I was having lunch with my mom today @ the Duck & Decanter near 16th Street/Camelback here in Phoenix, when a roadrunner made an appearance. My mom lives within a stone's throw of the Phx Mountain Preserve, so we're used to seeing these cool little beasties. It acted just as expected: makes an appearance, checks around, and then disappeared. However, we were both very surprised to see one in the middle of north central Phoenix. Anyone else seen anything similar?
The only other situation I can remember at this moment was seeing a large, healthy-looking coyote cross in front of my car late one night when I was an undergrad at the U of A on Elm Street just west of Country Club.

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JoelHazelton
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Re: Weird urban wildlife sighting

Post by JoelHazelton » Oct 29 2009 8:26 pm

Wow, that roadrunner made it pretty far!
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joebartels
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Re: Weird urban wildlife sighting

Post by joebartels » Oct 29 2009 8:28 pm

JamesLyding wrote:Duck & Decanter
Dang I haven't been there since the 80's
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big_load
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Re: Weird urban wildlife sighting

Post by big_load » Oct 29 2009 8:39 pm

I've never seen one anywhere close to town.

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JimmyLyding
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Re: Weird urban wildlife sighting

Post by JimmyLyding » Oct 29 2009 8:48 pm

The Duck & Decanter rocks (especially the days when they have Five Star Mushroom soup). I was at a party at the Quadrangles Apartments on University just east of ASU one night, and we heard that someone found a black bear cub there that night. I didn't believe it, but it was confirmed in the paper the next morning.
Also read about a large male black bear found @ Udall Park (?) in metro Tucson, and allegedly was torn up pretty good.

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te_wa
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Re: Weird urban wildlife sighting

Post by te_wa » Oct 29 2009 8:51 pm

funny, my buddy was at 101 and Shea, right in the middle of traffic, and spotted a dead raccoon in the road. Im like "yeah sure" and he reminded me that he grew up in Tacoma WA and knows damn well what a raccoon looks like. Huh? In N. Scottsdale? weird!
:D

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Re: Weird urban wildlife sighting

Post by PaleoRob » Oct 30 2009 6:23 am

Only been to Duck and Decanter once, but boy oh boy did I like it. Yum.
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writelots
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Re: Weird urban wildlife sighting

Post by writelots » Oct 30 2009 8:21 am

Not too long ago, on a warm day, I looked out my office window toward Ina Road and saw a peacock walking towards me. He meandered through the office complex, got a drink from our decorative fountain, then wandered into the parking lot where he hung out for a bit. We called PC Animal Control and the Humane Society - but neither had the "resources" to deal with an errant peacock. Eventually, he continued on down Ina, and I hope he steered clear of the road.

Don't know if it counts as wildlife (since he was likely an escaped "pet"), but it was pretty crazy.
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azbackpackr
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Re: Weird urban wildlife sighting

Post by azbackpackr » Oct 30 2009 9:21 am

Hmmmm.... My mom and brother lived on Orange Grove between Oracle and La Canada for many years. I seem to recall HEARING peacocks at their place, but never seeing one.

I'd think the people who keep them would probably have a couple acres back in there--there are a lot of large lots back through there--and I think most people who keep peacocks don't actually cage them in. I know they don't out in Calif. Now, I wonder why they wouldn't make easy prey for the coyotes?
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JimmyLyding
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Re: Weird urban wildlife sighting

Post by JimmyLyding » Oct 30 2009 4:46 pm

There's a neighborhood here in central Phoenix that has feral peacocks. Most of the neighbors are not fans due to their noise and droppings. When I was a youth my buddies and I used to take pigeons with a blowgun because they used to poop on our cars. However, peacocks are probably too big for a blowgun, bb gun, or pellet gun.

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chumley
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Re: Weird urban wildlife sighting

Post by chumley » Oct 30 2009 8:20 pm

I think the bears in the valley occurred during the severe drought years up north (think Rodeo-Chediski time frame). They came down to the valley for food. I recall that Fountain Hills and east Mesa had numerous sightings and relocations. I've seen coyotes on Karsten Golf Course at ASU, but that was a long time ago, before the lake effectively blocked access to Papago Park ... which I consider to be a fairly limited habitat for coyotes anyway. Talk about being trapped in the city. Their only possible escape would have to be upstream in the Salt River bed.

Speaking of which, there was an article in the Republic a couple of weeks ago about the amazing collection of bird species living in the "riparian area" under the loop 101/202 junction adjacent to Tempe Marketplace. It includes at least one pair of bald eagles, and this year, a new chick. I laugh at the "area closures" across the state to protect bald eagles during mating season, and yet there's a happy family living in a 50 million candle power light tower next to a huge mall and adjacent to a major freeway interchange with tens of thousands of cars and trucks passing by each day. But I can't set up a tent or get out of my canoe within 5 miles of a nest in the middle of the wilderness.

Makes me think that the only species that can't adapt to change is the one called "scientist".
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chumley
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Re: Weird urban wildlife sighting

Post by chumley » Oct 30 2009 8:27 pm

I just looked up that article I was referencing, link to it is here:
http://www.azcentral.com/community/temp ... r1010.html

here's an excerpt of the other birds that are known to be nesting in this not-so-serene spot in the center of town
snowy egret, osprey, red-tailed hawks, American kestrel, gambel's quail, American coot, killdeer, black-necked stilt, western sandpiper, northern flicker, curve-billed thrasher and great-tailed grackle.
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joebartels
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Re: Weird urban wildlife sighting

Post by joebartels » Oct 30 2009 8:29 pm

Endangered birds find a 'Safe Harbor' in around Town Lake
by Dianna M. Náñez - Oct. 9, 2009 05:40 PM
The Arizona Republic

A juvenile bald eagle roosting at Tempe Town Lake has charmed workers involved in the Red Mountain Freeway expansion project.

"Who would have thought it (the eagle) would be here so close to the town," Joe Dominguez said. "It's really neat to have seen."

"It perches on the cranes and power lines . . . like it's king of the water," Greg Werlinger said.

The eagle's birth is a first for the area, according to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials in Arizona.

The bald eagle is benefiting from a conservation effort to restore desert and Salt River bottom areas around Town Lake. It feeds and rests with its mother in wetlands just east of Town Lake that are protected through a "Safe Harbor Agreement" between Tempe and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Although development along Town Lake has caused an overall decline in the area's bird population in the past few years, the conservation agreement approved in April 2008 has created a 146-acre wildlife refuge.

Tempe's "Safe Harbor" agreement covers land bordering Town Lake's east and west dam as well as desert areas in Papago Park north of the Red Mountain Freeway.The city applied for the agreement after realizing that ongoing efforts to restore the Rio Salado to its natural habitat could draw endangered species.

As part of the agreement, Tempe must enhance its safe harbor area with vegetation benefiting the Yuma clapper rail, Southwestern willow flycatcher and the bald eagle, which are all endangered or threatened species.

In return, Tempe is shielded from regulations and fines related to the Endangered Species Act.

Once Tempe has met its conservation goals, the city has the option of returning the habitat to the condition it was when the agreement was initiated. Those concessions allow private landowners to develop the land.

The agreement also expands conservation efforts beyond the nation's federally protected land, which conservationists acknowledge is not sufficient for the recovery of endangered species.

Although there was little expectation that the Yuma clapper rail, Southwestern willow flycatcher and the bald eagle would nest within the safe-harbor boundaries, Mike Martinez, of the Arizona Ecological Services, a branch of the federal fish and wildlife services, said the habitat improvements will provide feeding and resting areas during migration.

The city has completed several enhancements on the west end of Town Lake and is readying for projects on the east side, said Nancy Ryan, who manages Rio Salado projects for Tempe.

To advance the habitat west of Town Lake, Tempe has planted mesquite, ironwood and paloverde trees. The addition of a low-flow channel created swimming and marsh areas for birds. Cottonwood, desert willow and cattail were also planted.

Native trees were also planted in the protected area north of the Red Mountain Freeway in Papago Park.

Within the year, Tempe will plant trees and build a viewing area on the south bank of the eastern side of Town Lake. So that residents can take in the scenery without disturbing the wildlife, Tempe will plant catclaw, brittlebush and other vegetation along the bank.

A recent wildlife survey to monitor Tempe's safe harbor wildlife showed that there were thousands of birds soaring or swimming in the area. Among them are snowy egret, osprey, red-tailed hawks, American kestrel, gambel's quail, American coot, killdeer, black-necked stilt, western sandpiper, northern flicker, curve-billed thrasher and great-tailed grackle.

The summer birth of the bald eagle is the first sign that the enhanced habitat is benefiting threatened species, Martinez said.

"If these areas are used by these species it can contribute to their ultimate recovery, which is the ultimate goal of our agency - not to keep these species on the list but to recover them to get them off the list," he said.

Endangered species covered under Tempe's 'Safe Harbor' agreement

"Safe Harbor" agreements are supposed to cover areas where habitat improvements could benefit the recovery of an endangered species. Tempe's improvements are aimed at helping the endangered Yuma clapper rail, endangered Southwestern willow flycatcher and threatened bald eagle. Should other endangered species not covered under the agreement appear in the safe harbor area, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service can request that the agreement be amended to add that species.

Yuma clapper rail: It's a medium-size marsh bird with mottled brown or gray on its rump, dark gray sides and belly, and a long, down-curved beak.

It was listed as endangered without sufficient habitat in 1967. The listing was prompted by a small population, which was tied to a loss of breeding habitat along the lower Colorado River. The habitat was lost to the building of dams, water diversion and channelization on the Lower Colorado and Gila rivers.

Although there are no known Yuma clapper rails living in the Tempe project area, historically there have been sightings of the bird west of Town Lake along the Gila River. In 2001, a total of 529 Yuma clapper rails were detected in U.S. wildlife surveys.

Southwestern willow flycatcher: It's a small passerine bird, about 6 inches long, with a grayish-green back and wings, olive-gray breast and pale-yellow belly.

It was listed as endangered without sufficient habitat in 1995. Marsh destruction and channelization are the primary reasons for habitat loss. The bird breeds in dense riparian environments of the Southwest and winters in Mexico, Central America and northern South America.

Although there are no Southwestern willow flycatchers in the Tempe project area, the bird was detected in a 2002 survey along the Gila River downstream of Town Lake during breeding season.

About 900 to 1,000 pairs of flycatchers remain in portions of California, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Utah and Colorado.

Bald eagle: It's unique to North America. It has a wingspread of about 7 feet. Adults have a dark-brown body and wings, white head and tail, and a yellow beak. Juveniles are mostly brown with white mottling.

It was listed as endangered in most of the U.S. in 1967 and reclassified as threatened in 1995.

In 2007, recovery efforts were considered successful, as more than 9,789 breeding pairs were reported in the Lower 48 states. The bald eagle was removed from the threatened and endangered wildlife list in every state except Arizona.

Source: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
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JimmyLyding
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Re: Weird urban wildlife sighting

Post by JimmyLyding » Oct 30 2009 11:37 pm

chumley wrote:I just looked up that article I was referencing, link to it is here:
http://www.azcentral.com/community/temp ... r1010.html

here's an excerpt of the other birds that are known to be nesting in this not-so-serene spot in the center of town
snowy egret, osprey, red-tailed hawks, American kestrel, gambel's quail, American coot, killdeer, black-necked stilt, western sandpiper, northern flicker, curve-billed thrasher and great-tailed grackle.
I live @ 18th Avenue/Thomas, and I frequently see in my yard northern flickers (very rarely see acorn and gila woodpeckers), curve-billed thrashers, lots of grackles (the only birds I see more than grackles are pigeons, doves, sparrows, Euro blackbirds, and finches (in the summer)), the occasional Harris hawk, nighthawks, peach-faced lovebirds, and my favorite the northern mockingbird. Love those mockingbirds. The mockingbirds look to be mating or fighting or some sort of craziness right now. Great singers, and I love how they trot through my yard step-by-step, raising their wings bit-by-bit for some reason.

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Re: Weird urban wildlife sighting

Post by azbackpackr » Oct 31 2009 3:59 am

I've kept an informal list of "Wildlife seen while driving my school bus." While driving in Tucson I saw bobcat, coyote, javelina, deer, and of course bunnies, quail, etc. Up here I've seen fox, bobcat, elk, antelope, coyote, turkeys and deer. Some of my co-workers have seen wolves and bears.
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Mattrgrs12
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Re: Weird urban wildlife sighting

Post by Mattrgrs12 » Nov 02 2009 6:22 pm

i saw a squirrel in chandler on ray and mcqueen runnin around in the intersection and tons of coyotes and a peacock in the gilbert area. the other day on the 101 i saw a racoon smashed on the side of the road and a while back my girlfriend said she saw a mountain lion layin on the side of the road that was hit by a car out in queen creek.

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trekkin_gecko
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Re: Weird urban wildlife sighting

Post by trekkin_gecko » Nov 02 2009 6:31 pm

i saw a coyote run across washington street at 48th street the other night just after sunset
suppose he was heading for the salt river bed
used to see tons of coyotes and a few javelina when i lived in ahwatukee, right in the residential areas

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te_wa
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Re: Weird urban wildlife sighting

Post by te_wa » Nov 02 2009 7:08 pm

Mattrgrs12 wrote:the other day on the 101 i saw a racoon smashed on the side of the road
that's the one i was talking about.
:D

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Mattrgrs12
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Re: Weird urban wildlife sighting

Post by Mattrgrs12 » Nov 02 2009 8:45 pm

yea i wasnt really sure if i saw it right but i dont know of any other animals that have that kind of tail

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te_wa
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Re: Weird urban wildlife sighting

Post by te_wa » Nov 02 2009 8:49 pm

ringtail cat (miner's cat) is a relative, with an even bigger striped tail. maybe that is what it was afterall... come down out of the McDowells or something..
:D

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