One week from today I will be boarding a flight for the first leg of my journey to the mystery destination where I will be working for four months.  The first flight on November 2nd will be 6 hours and take me to a layover for two days before 4 hour flight that will take me to the work location.  Stay tuned!

In the mean time, the butterflies have found some good forage in my yard:

swallowtail butterfly ~ copyright g. joder

swallowtail butterfly ~ copyright g. joder

At work, a gray fox has been regularly visiting one of the wildlife drinkers:

Corvus corax


Common Ravens are one of my favorite animals because of their intelligence, curiosity and flying acrobatic skills.  I’ve been working on the Cabeza Prieta NWR for the last few weeks and set up my camera on the of the wildlife drinkers we maintain.  The camera captured this video of a raven taking a bath and then its partner showing up and saying a few words:


This afternoon I went for a hike in Ventana Canyon to check on a trail camera (it captured a skunk and some humanoids) and was captured by the canyon’s fall beauty.  With the recent rains all the vegetation is green and growing and the wildflowers are out.  There is still water flowing in the creek and the butterflies were out in large numbers.  It would be a great time to be escorted through the vegetation by a botanist familiar with Sonoran Desert plants.  If you live in Tucson I recommend you visit the canyon soon while it is so alive.

yellow flowers ~ copyright g. joder

Dogface butterflies? Copyright g. joder

canyon tree frog ~ copyright g. joder

I’ve really been enjoying the peccaries (javelina) that have been regular visitors to the waterhole in my yard…  Click the image to learn more about them.

Javelina ~ copyright g. joder

For the last three or so years I’ve been posting photos, videos and very brief word-accounts of my biological field work in southern Arizona, focusing on Arizona Bald Eagles, the endangered Willow Flycatcher and the endangered Sonoran Pronghorn.  There have also been posts of a few road trips to Baja California, Mexico or Colorado, USA.  And there have been quite a few posts about the wildlife my trail cameras have captured at my house or nearby in the Sonoran Desert and photos I’ve taken wandering in the Catalina Mountains near Tucson.  Barring the metaphorical and unforeseen cement truck barreling across a crosswalk that I occupy, I hope to be able to bring a fresh new series of entries from a completely different part of the world.  A place that is pretty much the opposite of the Sonoran Desert.  My understanding is that the internet connection there will only allow for low resolution images to be uploaded, but not HD video.  So while I am at the yet-to-be-revealed location I will do my best to provide the best images I can of the work and location as well as wordy descriptions of what’s going on.  I depart on November 2nd 2014 and return in early March 2015.

In the meantime, I will continue posting images and video of where I am now that I feel worthwhile:

DSC_0867 monarch

Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge ~ copyright g. joder

The last few weeks I have been working again on the endangered Sonoran Pronghorn project.  The work area is in the Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge.  In the interest of capturing some pronghorn on video I set up my camera near a wildlife drinker in the refuge.  The video shows 2013 bucks and 2014 doe and buck fawns:

This week I was invited to go with a friend to explore Quitobaquito spring in Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument.  The spring is located a stones throw from the Mexico/US border and access to the area has been closed for several years due to the proliferation of drug smuggling and associated violence.  Since the road to the spring was recently opened (again) to the public, border patrol said they had only seen a handful of people visiting the spring.

The spring is home to endangered Quitobaquito desert pupfish and provides a way-station for migrating birds and acts as a water and food source for local wildlife.  We spent about two hours there and saw about 30 species of birds.

looking north from the Mexico/US border ~ copyright g. joder

The Mexico/US border by the spring . Mexico is to the left of the fence ~ copyright g. joder

The trail to the spring ~ copyright g. joder

Quitobaquito spring and pond from the air ~ copyright g. joder

Quitobaquito pond ~ copyright g. joder

Sharp-shinned Hawks? Copyright g. joder

American coot ~ copyright g. joder

blurry dragonfly ~ copyright g. joder


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