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In This Issue
- Wild Arizona: AZGFD announces winners of Arizona Wildlife Photo Contest
- AZGFD in the News: Residents in central Phoenix get rare sighting of javelina
- Wild Arizona: Sandhill cranes winging their way to Whitewater Draw Wildlife Area
- Walk on the Wild Side: Mittry Lake Wildlife Area
- Video of the Month: Mountain lion safety
The Arizona Game and Fish Department has unveiled its 2023 wildlife calendar, which showcases the winning photographs from its annual contest.
Twelve winning photographs are included in the full-size calendar that is published in the November-December 2022 issue of Arizona Wildlife Views magazine. All subscriptions ordered through Dec. 31, 2022, will receive the calendar issue and also get free bonus issue(s) added to the order. The calendar also will be sold at all Arizona Game and Fish Department offices for $3 (while supplies last).
David C. Vincent’s photo of an American pronghorn in Sonoita was awarded best in show and is featured on the cover of the calendar issue. “I had a feeling something was going to happen the day I took this photo because the light was magical,” said Vincent, a Tucson resident.
The 12 winning photographers are:
- Dave Getz, Tempe: Merriam’s turkey
- Kat Guellich, Green Valley: Antelope jackrabbit
- Bill Hamilton, Phoenix: American red squirrel
- Tom Mangelsdorf, Scottsdale: Burrowing owls
- Lee Marcus, Chandler: Desert bighorn sheep
- Mark Navarro, Tucson: Sandhill cranes
- Tam Ryan, Mesa: Great egrets
- Cam Stewart, Prescott: Great Plains toad
- David C. Vincent, Tucson: American pronghorn
- Jeffrey Wagner, Laramie, Wyo.: Mule deer
- Courtney Warner, Phoenix: Elk
- Sue Welter, Peoria: Chuckwalla
Given the strength and diversity of this year’s nearly 1,900 entries, the judges singled out 20 images from talented photographers for honorable mention. Those photos also are featured in the calendar issue.
Already one of the best deals around, a subscription to Arizona Wildlife Views is even better if you order through Dec. 31, 2022:
$12 for one year, includes one free bonus issue (seven issues total).
$18 for two years, includes two free bonus issues (14 issues total).
$25 for three years, includes three free bonus issues (21 issues total).
Subscribe today to bring Arizona’s wildlife and wild places into your home!
Kudos to ABC15 Arizona and reporter Jorge Torres for a recent news story about how a javelina was caught on Ring camera video in a historic Phoenix neighborhood near Central Avenue and Camelback Road. Arizona Game and Fish Department spokesperson Amy Burnett explains why javelina sightings in urban neighborhoods might become more common.
Sandhill cranes by the thousands are once again returning to their wintering grounds at the Whitewater Draw Wildlife Area in southeastern Arizona.
For the next few months, viewers can observe almost 20,000 of these fascinating birds on a live-streaming camera installed by the Arizona Game and Fish Department (AZGFD). View the live stream
“The sandhill cranes have once again sprung Whitewater Draw Wildlife Area back to life,” said Jeff Meyers, wildlife viewing program manager. “It’s truly a pleasure to offer this unfiltered view of our state’s wildlife directly to the public, giving them a chance to see the migration of this incredible species in action.”
The best time to view the cranes is 30 minutes before and after sunrise, just before they leave to feed for the morning. The leggy birds generally return to the wildlife area before noon, where they will remain for the rest of the day. With the camera being outfitted with infrared technology, viewers also can observe the cranes at night.
AZGFD will do its best to keep the camera focused on the cranes and other interesting wildlife subjects, but there will be times when that isn’t possible because of the unpredictability of wildlife. Viewers who don’t immediately see activity are encouraged to routinely check back.
Across the globe, there are 15 species of cranes. Two species of cranes are found in North America — sandhill, the most abundant species, and the endangered whooping crane.
Sandhills are wary birds that shy away from areas of dense vegetation that may conceal predators. Cranes prefer to feed and roost in open areas where potential danger can be seen from a distance.
The cranes will begin to leave the wildlife area between late February and the middle of March. By April, all of the birds will be on their way to their northern nesting grounds, some as far away as Siberia.
The live stream is supported by the Wildlife Conservation Fund, which comes from tribal gaming and the Wildlife Viewing Program. The cameras are supported in part by public donations.
To view the department’s live-streaming cameras, go to information on wildlife viewing, and click on “Wildlife Viewing.”
Mittry Lake Wildlife Area, jointly managed by the Arizona Game and Fish Department and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, includes about 600 acres of water surface and 2,400 acres of marsh or upland habitat. A wide variety of vegetative and wildlife species can be found here, with a scenic backdrop of three mountain ranges.
The desert scrub and riparian woodland habitats are home to diverse desert wildlife. Riparian birds like the yellow-billed cuckoo, summer tanager, and the endangered southwestern willow flycatcher may use the area. Yuma clapper rails nest on site. Surveys have also revealed California black rails and Virginia rails nesting along the shore. The marsh also supports American coot, common moorhen, least bittern, and pied-billed grebe.
Winter users include various duck species, American white pelican, double-crested cormorant, and northern harrier. Year-round users include black-crowned night heron, great blue heron, snowy egret, osprey, and others.
Mammals that frequent the area include mule deer, javelina, bobcats, desert bighorn sheep, and wild burros. There are no facilities or designated areas for camping, but camping is allowed. Call the Bureau of Land Management’s Yuma field office (928-317-3200) for more information. There is a three-lane boat launch ramp for motorized boating on the lake.
Directions: From Yuma, take Highway 95 north to East Imperial Dam Road, then turn left (west) toward the lake, following wildlife area signs.
Encounters with mountain lions are rare in Arizona. But if you live, work or recreate in mountain lion habitat, there are some things that can be done to enhance your safety. Mark Hart, a public information officer for the Arizona Game and Fish Department, demonstrates a few techniques to stay safe.