Monday, November 30, 2009

Cibola Wildlife Refuge - Arizona/California

Early this morning, I took a drive to the Cibola Wildlife Refuge near the California/Arizona border. Would like to get there around sunrise or sunset sometime. However, I did see lots of sandhill cranes and Canadian geese. And the trees were gorgeous! A coyote ran past through the brush on my way out, but I couldn't get the camera set up in time.

Here's a photo album of some of the pictures I was able to take. There are 35 photos on two pages, so be sure to click on page 2. ... 5fcd9523a4

You don't have to be a member of Facebook to look at them. Here's a sample photo:


Cibola Refuge was established in 1964 as mitigation for channelization and dam construction on the Colorado River in the 1930s and 1940s. It's located in the floodplain of the Lower Colorado River and provides important habitat for migratory birds, wintering waterfowl, and resident species. The refuge contains several miles of historic river channels and backwaters that provide key habitats in a changed environment.

About 240 species of birds use the refuge during the year. It is a critical wintering area for Canada geese and greater sandhill cranes. Several endangered or threatened species use the refuge. Included are the willow flycatcher, brown pelican, peregrine falcone, bald eagle, Yuma clapper rail, bonytail chub, and razorback sucker. Other resident bird species include Gambel's quail, kestrel, Harris' hawk, roadrunner, phainopepla, and burrowing owl. Mule deer, coyote, and bobcat are common mammals on the refuge, and visitors occasionally spot mountain lion, kit fox, gray fox, and badger as well. Many species of reptiles and amphibians, including the western diamondback and sidewinder rattlesnakes also call the refuge home.

The refuge actively manages a variety of habitat for wildlife. About 2,000 acres are farmed to provide food for migrating and wintering waterfowl, cranes, and other species. Farmers harvest hay in the summer and leave alfalfa, corn, milo, millet, and other crops for wildlife during the winter.

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