18. Small Desert Wildlife
Be sure to tour the Oasis Court inner courtyard to view the Gambel's quail along with their covey.
Gambel's Quail are sociable birds of the Arizona desert, where coveys gather along brushy washes and cactus-studded arroyos to feed. Males and females both sport a bobbing black topknot of feathers. However, the male's copper cap distinguishes it from the female. This ground-hugging desert dweller would rather run than fly, look for mama, papa and babies running between cover or papa posting a lookout on low shrubs.
Be sure to tour the Oasis Court inner courtyard to view the whimsical Javelina and her offspring.
Javelina are common in much of central and southern Arizona. Though some people think Javelina are a type of wild pig, they are actually members of the peccary family, a group of hoofed mammals originating from South America. They form herds of 2 to more than 20 animals and rely on each other to defend territory, protect against predators, regulate temperature and interact socially. They have a keen sense of smell but have very poor eyesight; they may appear to be charging when actually trying to escape. They eat primarily plants, including cacti, succulent plants, bulbs, tubers, beans and seeds; and sometimes insects, garbage and grubs.
Artist: Doug Quarles
Completed: January 2014