Today is World Wildlife Day! We have had some great photos of wildlife, birds, and other critters featured on Sunday Stills just last week with “flight” and in “fur and feathers” last June.

The Sunday Stills theme this week is Wildlife.

Desert Wildlife

While we were on our winter road trip to Arizona and Nevada in January, I took a few photos of local wildlife.

Our first afternoon in Sedona before the major snow dump, we surprised this Javalina (pronounced “hah-vah-leena”) as it foraged in the bushes near a Sedona art gallery and I quickly got this lucky, if fuzzy shot with my phone.

Desert Javalina

“They aren’t wild pigs but are members of the “peccary” family that originated in South America. They are accustomed to humans but generally ignore them unless provoked. They’ve been known to defend themselves with their long, sharp tusks. The primary habitat of the Javelina are the central and southern areas of Arizona in desert-like terrain near washes with dense vegetation. They are found in the outskirts of Phoenix and Tucson as well as Flagstaff and Sedona. It isn’t unusual for them to live within the desert areas just outside suburban communities.”

Arizona Leisure

While hiking in the Valley of Fire in Nevada, I hit the wildlife bonanza. You saw my hawk image featured last week.

After our wonderful hike through the red rocks, we picnicked and were entertained by the golden mantle ground squirrels that thought they could join us.

Golden Mantle Ground Squirrel
Golden Mantle Ground Squirrel

As we drove on to our next scenic area, we noticed a commotion as cars were stopped along the road. To the right, we caught a somewhat rare glimpse of a small herd of desert big-horned sheep grazing. Judging by the size of their horns, they looked like juveniles.

Big horned sheep
Desert Big-Horn Sheep

An Urban Wildlife Sanctuary

More and more we hear of wild animals such as bobcats, mountain lions and coyotes (here in California) roaming the suburban streets looking for food. As suburbia builds further into the natural habitats of wildlife, more of these animals will become displaced.

Often, they are shot (or at least tranquilized) and removed by local law enforcement. Like many, the City of Folsom in Northern California (10 miles east of Sacramento) is one of those communities gradually building further into the Sierra Foothills. Thankfully, the City had a vision in the early 1960s to establish a wildlife zoo/sanctuary.

I took my university’s Facility Management students to the Folsom Zoo Sanctuary last October for a class field trip. The zoo is operated by the recreation and parks department and is overseen by a colleague!

We toured the impressive facility, home to both domestic and wild animals which have been abandoned, rescued, or injured and brought here to live the rest of their natural lives in peace. The zoo becomes their permanent home and the animals are cared for by trained staff and veterinarians. Our tour included the behind-the-scenes areas where some animals are temporarily kept away from visitors because of illness or injury.

One of my students got up close (but not too personal) with a black bear (one of eight).

Student face to face with a bear
Jacob and the bear

Although the zoo sees thousands of visitors a year, the animal residents have areas in their enclosures in which to hide or rest, away from people.

Here is an example of one of the black bears taking a nap.

Sleeping Black Bear
Nap time for Mr Bear

This adorable white cockatoo poses for the camera.

White cockatoo
Friendly white cockatoo

Becky at Life of B has started her Spiky Squares in March photo challenge with the theme of “spiky.” This image and the big-horn sheep are my contributions to Spiky Squares.

A warm welcome to our newest Sunday Stills contributor, Roberts Snap Spot!

Just a reminder to title your blog post differently from mine so SEO can find us all.

I am excited to see what wildlife photos and other creative ideas you will contribute to this week’s Sunday Stills Photo Challenge!

67 thoughts on “Sunday Stills: Walk on the #Wildlife Side

  1. Hi Terri

    Love your photos. I don’t know how you do it. On a recent drive down Hwy 1 my husband pulled off at one of the scenic overlooks. I saw two crows sitting on a rock one with a rat in its mouth. By the time I got my camera ready they’d flown away. Arg. So frustrating.


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  2. Such wonderful shots and so good of the wildlife to be cooperative! Love the yellow of the bear’s bunk against his glossy black fur. And the little ground squirrel is so clearly captured. I like the blurred background, it seems to keep your focus on the critter!

    Have copied down the prompts of March and will keep participating in Sunday Stills. So enjoying it!

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  3. When we were in Sedona about six or seven years ago, they had a bunch of colorfully painted (all by different artists) statues of Javalina all over the town. I never did see one in the wild, but the statues sure were cute. Did they still have them displayed when you were there? Nice pic of the cockatoo!

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  4. I love the fact that we can see and read about the wildlife we’ve never heard of before, Terri. Thanks for the introduction to the Javalina and the Desert Big-Horned Sheep. The sheep look very different in Wales to those of the desert. I wonder if animals look at us humans as wildlife?

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  5. These photos are wonderful as usual, Terri, and a nice variety of shots. The squirrel looks full of energy and the colors are so vivid! I can relate to the mood of the bear as we approach the last few weeks of winter here in Maine. I take pictures of deer and turkeys when they grace our backyard. They always make me smile.

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      1. At least I got enough sunny days on our road trip, believe it or not, to keep the SAD away. Will see some sun in Hawaii in two weeks interspersed with rain, but that’s OK because it will be 80 degrees!


  6. What a beautiful trip! That is one I would love to take! It’s heartbreaking to see animals displaced and having to go through for garbage to survive.

    This post is amazing, Terri!

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  7. I look forward to your Sunday Stills surprises,Terri. You always present an interesting array of photos. Love the animals here and though it’s disheartening to see such large creatures as a bear in a small enclosure, I realize this sanctuary is the only way a rescue can survive. We have a small zoo nearby, also populated with local rescues.

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    1. I’ve only been to a couple of zoos. The San Diego zoo seems to be the pinnacle. The local Sacramento Zoo is ok, too many cages. I’m glad we have the Folsom Zoo in the area to help with the local wildlife that needs help.

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  8. Beautiful photos of desert wildlife! The Golden Mantled Ground Squirrels can be seen in the desert around Vegas too. Love them! 😎☺️❤️

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