Archive for the ‘Sonoran Desert Animals’ Category

Desert Animals at Hacienda Animal Pond

October 18th, 2012 by tucsonbb

Bobcat at Hacienda pond

A large window in the Galleria Suite looks out to a wild animal pond which attracts birds, rabbits, javelina, and bobcats.  Last week our assistant innkeeper was servicing a room when a mother bobcat with her two young ones appeared at the pond for a drink.  Her little ones are hiding behind her.

Outside the same room appeared a Gila Monster, a bright orange and black desert lizard near the foot of the pool climbing over the rocks to get a drink.

Gila Monster drinking at Hacienda pool

Tucson Bobcat Family

August 30th, 2012 by tucsonbb

Tucson Bobcat family

Those of us living on the edges of town with some acreage are sometimes treated to a very special sight, either a single bobcat or, in this case, a bobcat family.  This mother with young was seen at the home of a friend in the Catalina Mountain foothills, but last summer we saw two juveniles with their arms around some large potted plants on our back porch.  We’re sure they were attempting to keep cool in the shade.  They slept there for about 1-2 hours.  Unfortunately, we weren’t able to get good pictures like our friend did because we were afraid we would frighten them away by getting too close.

Guests are always intrigued with the local wildlife here at Hacienda del Desierto Bed & Breakfast.  Those who stay in the Galleria are most likely to see bobcats as there is a wild animal pond just outside the window.  The most frequently seen animals at the Hacienda are the Javalina.

Mother With Baby Javelina


Tucson August Birding Festival

June 30th, 2012 by tucsonbb

Front Gate at Hacienda

Avid birders should plan now to attend the Tucson Bird & Wildlife Festival, August 15-19. This event celebrates the unique biodiversity of southeast Arizona with exciting educational opportunities for birders and nature enthusiasts to discover and enjoy the Sonoran Desert and Sky Islands.  There will be workshops, dinner programs, expert-led birding and natural history field trips, and even youth birder outings.  You can register online at the Tucson Audubon website.  If you want to stay in a desert environment on 17 secluded acres with 53 different birds identified by birders on the property, we invite you to stay at Hacienda del Desierto Bed & Breakfast while attending the festival.

Back Patio Garden at the Hacienda

Local Desert Gila Monster

May 9th, 2012 by tucsonbb

Non-agressive Gila Monster

Gila Monsters are now out of their burrows for the summer so, if you’re lucky, you’ll get to see one if  hiking in the desert.  They are poisonous but won’t bite unless handled incorrectly or unless you surprise them by putting your hand under a bush or rock where they are hiding.  Enjoy their beautiful colors and let them alone to find their mate and put on weight for their winter hibernation.  They were named for their early sightings along the Gila River and reminded some of monsters.  They are really slow moving gentle giants about 12-18 inches long who only yearn to be left alone to mind their own business.  This one lives on the 16 acre property of Hacienda del Desierto Bed & Breakfast and was photographed by a guest.

Birds Visit Southwestern B & B

April 21st, 2012 by tucsonbb

Hummingbird Visits Backyard Garden

This Hummingbird is just one of the many visiting the blooming gardens at Hacienda del Desierto Bed & Breakfast in Tucson.  Three patios and courtyards offer tantalizing food options for these and other birds.  In the back patio is a cactus fountain, rose gardens, and many types of desert blooms.  Outside guestrooms on several of the porches and hanging in trees are other bird feeders.  The courtyard with an old Mexican fountain has more of the lush garden plants that require more water.  Bring your cameras and look for birds.

Dove on Tree feeder near House


Great Horned Owls on Site

March 6th, 2012 by tucsonbb

Great Horned Owl

Two guests at our Hacienda are wildlife photographers and captured images of two Great Horned Owls in the palm trees in our back patio area  March 4th.  We, as well as our other guests, were captivated by their presence and great beauty. We all went out numerous times yesterday to watch them.  To see other pictures taken by Bruce and Tamy Leventhal, click on this link.  They also took pictures of our javelina which we’ll be adding to the gallery of our website.


Sandhill Cranes Due

December 29th, 2011 by tucsonbb

A Siege of Cranes

Birders come in droves to Southern Arizona to see the Sandhill Cranes during the month of January.  They are visible by the hundreds or thousands in areas near Willcox during this next month.  Wings Over Willcox Birding and Nature Festival celebrates all things avian from January 12-15.  There is a free nature exposition, a variety of free seminars, tours of scenic landscapes and historic sites, Sandhill Crane and Raptor watching spots, and a banquet featuring the Editor of Birding Magazine.  For additional details, go to the website Wings Over Willcox.  We encourage birding guests at the Hacienda to participate in the festival.


New Baby This Week

November 28th, 2011 by tucsonbb

Baby Javelina with Mom

Guests at the Hacienda are always intrigued by the javelina herd that come every day to our property.  The herd maintains a size of between 15-18, and this week a new baby was added.  Usually twins are born, but sometimes a new baby is too weak or gets pneumonia and dies.  The entire herd protects any new babies from danger, so we must keep a safe distance at that time.  Last week one of the herd came right up to our back door and stood there, not allowing us to leave.  We didn’t understand why until we looked further out in the yard and saw the new baby.  We don’t know why this week we have only one baby, but he is a real cutie.  The javelina are particularly drawn to the area around our bird feeders because the birds are messy and seeds drop to the ground where the javelina can easily munch.  Another favorite are Palo Verde tree or Mesquite tree seeds that drop to the ground.  When they chew on the seeds, it sounds like the javelina are chewing on gravel.

Song of a Desert Toad

August 30th, 2011 by tucsonbb

We have created several wild animal ponds at Hacienda del Desierto Bed & Breakfast, and we’ve been hearing the night songs of the Colorado River Toad.  They  appear when our monsoon rains arrive in the summer. They must be calling to their lady loves. Breeding then commences. They eats insects, spiders, lizards, and other toads. They then dig into the ground and hybernate until the rains commence next summer in Southern Arizona. We, along with our guests, hear them during the night. We advise guests not to try to catch or handle them as they secrete a poisonous milky substance on the skin that can make you sick or paralyze you if you should tough your mouth or eyes after handling them. They are the most dangerous to dogs who like to tease them. Then owners must rinse out the pet’s mouth to get rid of the poison–if they are aware of what happened. When we used to have dogs, we kept them in the house or penned during the night during monsoon season.

Fearsome Looking Gila Monsters

August 16th, 2010 by tucsonbb

Best Buddies

These Gila Monsters may look ferocious, but they are really shy, slow moving  fellows who would rather avoid human contact.  Since they move rather sluggishly so aren’t much of a threat to humans.  Although the only poisonous lizard in the United States, an individual would have to really bother them or handle them to receive a bite.  The main problem with being bit is that their jaw locks down and can’t be separated so the poison is slowly released.

However, it has earned a fearsome reputation and is sometimes killed by hikers and homeowners despite
being protected by Arizona state law.  Cars can also kill them as we found out recently when we found a young dead one at the side of our entrance driveway at our Bed & Breakfast in the foothills of the Rincon Mountains near Saguaro National Park East.

Years ago, our  miniature poodle had a tendency to tease a rather large one that burrowed under a palo verde tree on our property.  The Gila Monster must have grazed our pet’s lower lip because she began to foam at the mouth.  Since we knew she had a tendency to tease the lizard, we rinsed out her mouth with a water hose, and she survived to live through an additional attack at a later date by coyotes.  One tough dog!