Wildlife in Our Area

The below information is intended to help you identify and learn more about the “residents” in our rural development.

Mountain Lions

Yes, there are mountain lions in the area. Rumor has it there are two roaming the woods and roads, with them predominantly residing in the hills of Cedar Mountain and exploring both our development and Red Lake Estates Unit I.

Mountain lion information :
In Arizona mountain lions are absent only from the extremely arid southwestern portions of the state and those areas heavily impacted by human development. In general, the distribution of mountain lions in Arizona corresponds with the distribution of its major prey species, deer.

Mountain lions may breed at any time of the year and consequently litters may be born in any month. Summer is the peak period of kitten births, with litter sizes of two, three, or four being the most common. Young remain with the mother for 15 to 22 months learning the skills necessary for survival. Juvenile males tend to disperse long distances compared to relatively short dispersals for juvenile females. Mountain lions are essentially solitary animals. Adult females may be accompanied by kittens, but are normally not associated with other adult animals except for mating purposes.

Deer, both whitetail and mule, are the principal mountain lion prey species in Arizona. In some areas javelina and/or livestock can be major components of mountain lion diet. Mountain lions will almost always attempt to cover the uneaten portion of a kill with leaves or other debris. An entire deer can be consumed in two nights. A conscientious observer is usually able to detect the presence of mountain lion in an area through the presence of tracks, scrapes, kills, or other sign.

Coyote

There’s nothing quite like the yelping and excited “chatter” from a group of coyotes, howling back and forth from one hill to the next or just beyond your home.

Coyote information: Usually gray with a rusty color on neck and flanks, black patches on base and tip of tail help distinguish from dogs. 20-30 pounds, 18-21 inches tall, 42-50 inches long, average litter of 4 to 5 pups, run as fast as 40 miles per hour.

Coyote diet includes fruits and vegetables, pet food, small wild and domestic animals, snakes and lizards, and garbage (more importantly, keep your lot cleaned and free of debris and garbage).

Possible Conflicts with Humans and Pets
Coyotes are curious, clever, and adaptable. They quickly learn to take advantage of any newly discovered food source, and are often attracted to yards with abundant fruit and wildlife to eat. Coyotes will eat pet food and knock over unsecured garbage cans, or may walk along the tops of walls around homes in search of unattended dogs and cats to eat. Coyotes may consider large or loud dogs to be a threat to their territory and become aggressive toward those dogs. Coyotes have lured free-roaming dogs away from their owners to attack, and bold coyotes may attack small dogs on retractable leashes.

What Attracts Them?
Coyotes may visit a home if they find food, water, or shelter there. Food can include unattended pets, birds or rodents attracted to bird feeders, pet food, garbage, or fallen fruit. Water sources can include a pet’s water bowl or a swimming pool. Shelter can include a storm drain or any cave-like area beneath a shed or unused building.

Fox

The 5 ½ to 9 pound gray fox with its rust, black, and grizzled coloring and black longitudinally striped tail is by far the most common, occurring wherever there are mountains, wooded country, and broken terrain. The sexes are similar in size and pelage. Gray foxes are the most often seen fox in that they are the most numerous species and are often active during daylight hours. And, although they favor brushy habitats, rock piles, and desert washes, they also climb trees and can be found in wooded areas.

Elk

Deer

Pronghorn Antelope

Snakes

Bull snakes, rattlers, and…… are among the snakes common to our area. This means you must be cautious when moving rocks either by hand or machine. Be sure to check out rocks before sitting on them or moving them, especially during the warmer summer months.

Birds

If you’re looking for the elusive sora or a heron rookery, this Central Arizona birding corridor is the spot. Mormon Lake, near Flagstaff, provides homes for the spotted owl, tree swallow and western nuthatch. Further north, in Grand Canyon Country, the majestic bald eagle soars overhead.

Mormon Lake information:

Mormon Lake, 30 miles south of Flagstaff, at an elevation of about 7,200 ft, has diverse habitats. The largest of only two natural lakes in Arizona, Mormon Lake is a flat depression filling with run-off most years. Drought will often dry up the lakebed, but usually there is some water at least for most of the year. Flat grasslands exist on the south and northeast ends, low cliffs edge the east, north and northwest sides, while Mormon Mountain rises on the west.

While spring and fall migrations bring the best birding, due to the neotropic migrant passerines, other seasons are also showy – more than 100 species have been atlased as breeding here. Surrounding the lake are forested areas that provide homes for Great Horned, No. Pygmy and Spotted Owls; all three western nuthatches, Tree Swallow, Williamson’s Sapsucker, Yellow-rumped and Grace’s Warblers, and Red Crossbill. Wintering Bald Eagles can number over 100 (usually 30-50) depending upon food supplies. The Mormon Lake area has the largest number of wintering Bald Eagles in the southwest. The Overlook at Mormon is the best site for watching a variety of raptors from eagles to kestrels – Northern Harrier, Red-tailed, Ferruginous, Rough-legged, Cooper’s, and Sharp Shinned Hawks, Merlin, Prairie, and Peregrine Falcons.

Woodpeckers

Many woodpecker species live in Arizona. Each can be identified by its markings. Signs of woodpecker presence include sounds, such as drumming, drilling and calls, plus holes in trees, cacti, utility poles and buildings. The drumming is a rhythmic pecking sequence used to make the birds’ presence known. It establishes territories and attracts or signals mates. Woodpeckers can be found throughout the state.

Woodpecker information:
Often have brightly contrasting colors; most males have red on the head; many species have black and white markings, 6½ to 14 inches long, breed from March through May, incubation lasts about 15 days, and the young fly approximately 25-30 days after the eggs are laid, Northern flicker is the most widely distributed woodpecker species in the state. Flight is usually undulating, with wings folded against the body after each burst of wing flaps. They feed on a variety of insects, mostly wood-boring (termites, carpenter bees, etc.). They will also eat native berries, fruits, nuts and certain seeds.

Learn more about the above and other wildlife via the below links:

Arizona Bureau of Land Management Arizona Fishing Regulations

Arizona Guide to Wildlife Viewing

Arizona Hunting Rules and Regulations

Arizona State Game & Fish Statutes

Arizona Wildlife Foundation Living With Wldlife in Arizona

Northern Arizona Audubon Society

Arizona Watchable Wildlife

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