Wildlife Sightings at the Cove

If you’ve been keeping up with the blog, you’ll remember that I recently spotted my first Cove coyote, and I wanted to share some other wildlife sightings with you. One of the best things about working at a state park, especially one as amazing as the Cove, is the opportunity to see lots of wildlife.

First up is the Canyon Wren (Catherpes mexicanus). Wrens are compact but bold little songbirds, and the Canyon Wren is a real beauty. I’ve spotted one in the Deschutes Ampthitheater, singing in the surrounding rocks and probing crevices for insects and spiders. I was really amazed at how bright the rufous feathers are, and that tail – it looks like the tail of an itty bitty Red-Tailed Hawk! Also note the very long beak.

canyon-wren.jpg

Click on “Read the Rest” to see the other critters I’ve been getting to see! Next up is.. a blue-belly!

This guy hangs around the park office, warming himself on sun-heated bricks and relishing in the water that we feed to the grass. The Fence Lizard is our bulkiest lizard, and has pointed, large scales around the head and on the back, giving him a prickly look.

Western Fence Lizard

Western Fence Lizard

These lizards are also called “blue-bellies,” and for good reason!

Blue markings of a male Fence Lizard. Note the yellowish markings on arms and legs.

Blue markings of a male Fence Lizard. Note the yellowish markings on arms and legs too.

Female Fence Lizards don’t have the throat patch and the belly markings are much more faded, if there at all. This was a big, healthy male, and I managed to get a picture of something a lot of people don’t get to see up close: the beautiful turquoise spots on his back!

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Blue spots on a male Fence Lizard’s back.

And here’s a crazy insect for you: a Walking Stick! I tried in vain to locate the actual species name, but most of the information out there is on the tropical species. If you know what this one is, please tell us in the comments! Below is a photo of him and his girlfriend – check out that incredible camouflage. Cute couple, huh?

Walking stick insect.

Walking stick insect

Walking Stick Insects

Walking Stick Insects

Last up is a puzzle for you. There are 5 birds in the following photo – can you locate them? Hint: there are two adults and four babies.

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If you’re stuck, check out this one and see if you can spot them more easily.

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If you’re still having trouble, I’ve circled them in the photo below! Sorry it’s a little blurry. Yay for amazing camouflage!

California Quail might not be the most impressive animal in Central Oregon, but they are one of my absolute favorites. These ground-dwelling birds are full of personality, and I love that they visit my office every day hunting for treats. The four young always seem to be getting in trouble, as the adults take turns scolding them and pecking their behinds.

quail key

Thanks for joining me today. What will YOU see at the Cove? 🙂

About coveranger

"One's happiness depends less on what he knows than on what he feels." - Liberty Hyde Bailey

Posted on September 7, 2013, in Wildlife and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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