It is the diversity of habitats found on the Bill Williams River National Wildlife Refuge that sustains one of the highest diversity of wildlife and plant species within the lower Colorado River watershed. It has been recognized by the National Audubon Society and The American Bird Conservancy as a birding area of global importance.
Antelope Doe and Fawn -
The Arizona Wildlife Fund is a voluntary program that allows Arizona taxpayers to help conserve the state’s wildlife simply by marking the “Arizona Wildlife” box on the annual state tax return.
Since Arizona started the program more than 25 years ago, contributions to the fund have aided the conservation and reintroduction of many species, including bald eagles, black-footed ferrets, California condors, Apache trout, Mexican wolves and several of the state’s most intriguing desert reptiles and amphibians.
Not many love Mondays, but these two might. This photo, by Yvonne Kippenberg, was a finalist in the Arizona Highways Photography Contest. Look for winners atwww.arizonahighways.com and on newsstands in mid-August.
HH: These lovebirds are all over our neighborhood. Once kept as pets in the area and now escaped into the wild again, they have thrived in the desert heat and amass along canals and other riptarian areas in the valley.
Interesting facts about the Sonoran Desert:
- The key to the Sonoran Desert’s climate is the amount of rainfall which falls. More rain falls on the Sonoran Desert than any other desert.
- This is the hottest of North American deserts, but a distinctly bimodal rainfall pattern produces a high biological diversity.
- The Sonoran Desert is home to 60 species of mammals, more than 350 kinds of birds, 20 amphibians, around 100 reptiles and over 2000 native species of plants.
- It contains a variety of unique and endemic plants and animals, such as the Saguaro (Carnegiea gigantea) and Organ Pipe cactus (Stenocereus thurberi).
- When the desert is windy, the sand gets picked up and tossed around which creates a sand storm or if the wind is blowing in a certain kind of way, it creates a whirlwind or dust devil.
- Water accumulated by the mountains drains into rivers that cross the desert, creating corridors of riparian vegetation even during dry times of the year.
- Many plants not only survive, but thrive in the harsh conditions of the Sonoran Desert. Many have evolved to have specialized adaptations to the desert climate. The Sonoran Desert’s biseasonal rainfall pattern results in more plant species than in the other North America deserts. The Sonoran Desert includes plant genera and species from the agave family, palm family, cactus family, legume family, and numerous others.
- The seasons are like any other. Spring is a time when flowers bloom if the winter and fall had enough rain that year. There is summer and in the summer it rains the most and that helps summer flowers grow. Then fall comes with a cooler breeze, which lets the deserts summer heat wear away. Winter brings snow to the mountains and cold air to the desert valley.
A long day coming to a close - looking foward to the weekend already