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Silas_Sancona
3 hours ago, greysrigging said:

The Australian Bin Chicken....

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w4dYWhkSbTU

:greenthumb:     " ..A meal fit for a King..":sick: :floor:      I'd suspect, like the Sacred Ibis of Africa, which it is related to, it's diet included carrion somewhere it it's evolution, giving it a leg up when adapting to eating garbage in the city.

Always amazing how adaptable critters can adapt to changes brought upon them by us humans. Here, Coyotes ( our Dingo / Wild Dog ) wander into neighborhoods well outside of natural areas fairly regularly and without much fear of Humans.  Javelina, a wild Pig look -alike, are also becoming more "used to" people here.  Local news always has stories of them stealing Jack 'o Lanterns from people's yards around Halloween, or knocking over trash bins / spreading it around. 

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greysrigging
2 hours ago, Daryl said:

Haha...well found! 

There is another very funny song/clip on Youtube by the Van Vuuren Bros re the good old Bin Chicken. Suffice to say it is a bit rude and contains words that may offend some people, so I'm refraining from posting the Link .... Australian Song About Birds

Anyways.... I got a laugh.  But y'all been warned.....

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Daryl

Willy Wagtails would have to be one of the cheekiest birds around...they love stirring up cats and dogs,  dive-bombing them and them staying just out of reach...for hours on end...and they also  love posing for the camera!

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greysrigging

Hate to have a plague of these fellas in the back yard....one was enough !20190408_102858.thumb.jpg.f14caacba07834bb6e02282ffb319263.jpg

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waykoolplantz

Garden guardians enjoying a bit of downtime

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Silas_Sancona

  ...Some Bees sunning themselves on the Uncarina this morning before heading off to pollinate something.

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greysrigging

Blue Flower Wasp ( Scolia soror ) in my son's yard yesterday.

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greysrigging

A common bird in Darwin , the Masked Lapwing ( Spur Winged Plover ). They are common over most of the Continent except for south western Western Australia. The adults vigorously defend their nests and chicks. As a kid I was terrified of them... haha.
They don't particularly like me nowadays either...
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The designer of the Junkers JU 87 ( WW2 German Dive Bomber ) must have some experience with the Plover.

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tjwalters

Gray/Cope's Gray Treefrog Complex - Hyla versicolor/chrysoscelis (Hylidae) on emerging leaf spear of Hyophorbe verschaffeltii.

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tjwalters

Deep Yellow Euchlaena - Euchlaena amoenaria (Geometridae)

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Silas_Sancona

Perhaps one of the strangest ..and most attractively colored insects i have encountered here..  No clue on the exact species but just spent over an hour looking over hundreds of pictures on iNaturalist in an attempt to get closer to a more affirmative ID. Likely one of the Gelechioid Moths, possibly in the family Stathmopodidae.. or a close relative there of.. most Gelechioid species are roughly the size of a grain of Rice, hence why they are often referred to as micro -moths.

Regardless, you never know what you'll discover out in the garden when you pay close attention.. Metallic coloration was more intense when it briefly moved into more sun. Never seen anything like it.
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Silas_Sancona

Another sure sign of summer in the Sonoran Desert, hanging out in the shade under the Mesquite out back.  Among all the colorful, exotic looking insects one may encounter here, few are as eye catching as both Cuckoo Wasps and Metallic Sweat Bees. 

Many of the 3,000 or so species of Cuckoo Wasp ( Family Chrysididae ) have very specific habitats and seldom stray from them. Greatest diversity within the family occurs in Desert, Mediterranean, and Subtropical areas of the world.  Several sp. also visit flowers in the Carrot, Euphorbia, and /or Sunflower families as well.

While Sweat Bees can sting ( more of an annoyance than painful or potentially dangerous ) Several species play very important roles in pollination. A few are active only at dawn or dusk as well..

Neat to encounter both today..

A few pics of the Cuckoo Wasp, possibly Chrysis angolensis digging out her nest in a Bamboo stake:
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Striped Sweat Bee, Genus Agapostemon resting on my Guaiacum officinale near by.
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Hillizard

A male Valley Carpenter Bee (Xylocopa varipunctata) on flowers of my dwarf Jacarandra mimosifolia yesterday. This is the largest native California bee species and is an important pollinator. Males are stingless; they live to consume and to conjugate. https://theethogram.com/2015/03/23/featured-creature-valley-carpenter-bee/

 

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Silas_Sancona

Another of the regions most colorful bugs on the hunt.. Steel Blue Cricket Hunter, Chlorion cyaneum. Large and in change but hard to approach and very rarely sting people ( usually when picked up and held tightly ) These and a similar species, Chlorion aerarium are members of the Thread-waisted Wasp sub family and are solitary in nature, spending a great deal of time hunting for Crickets, Cutworms, Cockroaches ( C. aerarium esp. ) and possibly Spiders which are paralyzed then taken to subterranean burrows where they will provide food to the next generation.  Aside from helping to keep populations of pest insects in -check, adults are important pollinators of several plant genera as well.

Interestingly, Cricket Hunters will share a burrow with Cicada killers, another large -sized Wasp that hunts ..Cicadas  during the summer months. Just starting to see them patrolling the yard / tree tops, a sure sign Cicada ..followed by Monsoon season, is just about here.  Been trying to get more pictures of these this year. Have a few other pics and a video i took in 2016 on my now dead phone. 

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Edited by Silas_Sancona
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Missi
On 6/18/2019 at 7:46 AM, dmc said:

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I'm always busting them in my lanai lizard hunting! The second they see my coming, they wiggle the tip of their tail and get in strike pose. I swear, black racers are more aggressive than cottonmouths (which in my experience, haven't been aggressive at all)!

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Silas_Sancona

Speaking of scaly things, was finally able to get a few pictures of what is likely the most elusive critter in the yard.. Most likely Ornate Tree Lizard, Urosaurus ornatus. There is also another Urosaurus sp. native to this part of Arizona. Supposedly, that species is less likely to be encountered in human-created habitats, preferring natural desert, at least according to what information i have read.. Needless to say, both look similar so i can't say with 100% confidence those in the yard are indeed Ornate tree.. vs Long Tailed Brush Lizards.  Preference for the block wall / Mesquite tree next to, and being far removed from any open, natural desert near the house would suggest those in the yard are likely Ornates.   Within the species, there may be as many as 9 distinct "variations" in the throat patch color of Male ornate tree Lizards.. Some are solid Blue, solid Orange, ...can be Blue and Orange, reverse.. or shades / combinations of Green, Yellow with Blue or Orange. Throat patch on males of Long Tail Brush lizards can also have similar variation, but not as pronounced as Ornates..

While overall earth tone color pattern is similar in any seen here, Ornates observed in Northern / N. Eastern Mexico can present patterns of bright greens and Blues spread over the body of an individual, appearing to be a completely different species.

While common enough locally, Ornates tend to be very wary of people and are hard to approach. Most of the pictures i got yesterday are of a Female carrying eggs. Females tend to be less leery of humans compared to the males, at least those in the yard.. he keeps his distance, while trying to mark his territory doing push-ups, or arching his back to expose the Turquoise Blue stripes running down the length of his belly... Keeping an eye on where i am the whole time.  Only times i have been able to get them to approach with relative ease was when soaking stuff i have sitting below the Mesquite around this time last year. Even when thirsty, they'd still run off if i wasn't sitting completely still.

Another interesting, albeit kind of sad fact regarding the species, Apparently, they only live an average of 3 years..  

Pregnant Female:
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Dominant Male peeking over the wall.
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tjwalters
On 6/3/2019 at 1:16 AM, Silas_Sancona said:

Perhaps one of the strangest ..and most attractively colored insects i have encountered here..  No clue on the exact species but just spent over an hour looking over hundreds of pictures on iNaturalist in an attempt to get closer to a more affirmative ID. Likely one of the Gelechioid Moths, possibly in the family Stathmopodidae.. or a close relative there of.. most Gelechioid species are roughly the size of a grain of Rice, hence why they are often referred to as micro -moths.

Regardless, you never know what you'll discover out in the garden when you pay close attention.. Metallic coloration was more intense when it briefly moved into more sun. Never seen anything like it.
DSCN6301.JPG.d786614e38a4405f90014e1177f6cef6.JPGDSCN6302.thumb.JPG.2bf01bab202e7238c71145d7eb07322e.JPG

I'm thinking this might one of the sun moths (family Heliodinidae) - maybe something like Aetole unipunctella

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Silas_Sancona
16 minutes ago, tjwalters said:

I'm thinking this might one of the sun moths (family Heliodinidae) - maybe something like Aetole unipunctella

Sure looks like a match for the specimen i found.. Appreciate your thoughts on the id:greenthumb:

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kinzyjr
8 hours ago, Missi said:

I'm always busting them in my lanai lizard hunting! The second they see my coming, they wiggle the tip of their tail and get in strike pose. I swear, black racers are more aggressive than cottonmouths (which in my experience, haven't been aggressive at all)!

That's odd.  The ones I have around the house are very mild mannered, even shy in most cases.  They like to hang out by the brick pile or up at the top of my Sago.  One day I was sitting on the bricks to my flower bed and one came around the corner and was crawling toward me until I pointed at the sago.  She decided to veer off into the garden only a few feet from me.  That was probably as much interaction as they've had with me by choice.

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Missi
On 6/20/2019 at 12:09 AM, kinzyjr said:

That's odd.  The ones I have around the house are very mild mannered, even shy in most cases.  They like to hang out by the brick pile or up at the top of my Sago.  One day I was sitting on the bricks to my flower bed and one came around the corner and was crawling toward me until I pointed at the sago.  She decided to veer off into the garden only a few feet from me.  That was probably as much interaction as they've had with me by choice.

Probably because I go directly towards them to grab them to relocate them from my lanai. They see my direct intent and get defensive. I don't blame them at all and take their harmless bites.

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NOT A TA

This big toad's been living under the rear lanai for many years where it'd dug a entry under the edge of the slab. I noticed a few years ago whenever there was a clay pot tray with water in it (but no pot) somewhere in the yard he/she liked to sit in the water. So I dedicated a tray for it and placed it a couple feet from the entrance to it's home. It gets cleaned and fresh water every few days so I don't start breeding mosquitoes. How many toads have their own pool with scheduled maintenance?

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Chester B

You know your garden is starting to turn into a jungle when a black panther shows up.

 

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All 6 pounds of her!

Black Panther 2.jpg

Edited by Chester B

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Missi
On 6/24/2019 at 1:11 PM, NOT A TA said:

This big toad's been living under the rear lanai for many years where it'd dug a entry under the edge of the slab. I noticed a few years ago whenever there was a clay pot tray with water in it (but no pot) somewhere in the yard he/she liked to sit in the water. So I dedicated a tray for it and placed it a couple feet from the entrance to it's home. It gets cleaned and fresh water every few days so I don't start breeding mosquitoes. How many toads have their own pool with scheduled maintenance?

20190624_093220_zps7ewmlebx.jpg

I think this is a highly poisonous (and invasive) cane toad. If you have dogs or cats, make sure they never lick or bite it.

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NOT A TA

Could very well be. I'm not familiar with toad species at all. Unfortunately,  one of my neighbors feeds feral cats and won't trap them and take them to be neutered so there's little to curb the local population explosion. Between the cats and Iguanas , there's just too many. The toads might trim the cat population but only another cold spell like the ones back around 2010 will kill off a lot of the Iguanas.

19 minutes ago, Missi said:

I think this is a highly poisonous (and invasive) cane toad. If you have dogs or cats, make sure they never lick or bite it.

 

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greysrigging

Cane toads are perhaps the worst pest species to be introduced into Australia. They have colonized much of tropical Queensland and the Northern Territory, and are spreading rapidly through the Kimberley region of Western Australia.
https://www.darwin.nt.gov.au/live/pets-wildlife/wildlife-pests/cane-toads

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NOT A TA

Some info on IDing the Cane toad from the Southern toad for those in the USA  http://ufwildlife.ifas.ufl.edu/frogs/canetoad.shtml

I'm colorblind so the coloring info doesn't really help me but my pet looks more like a southern toad to me (old man who uses 2.5 reading glasses). Anyone else have an opinion?

Meanwhile, I was planting grass sprigs today and heard rustling behind me. None of my immediate neighbors have chickens and being a suburban neighborhood no one is supposed to have them.

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Silas_Sancona
2 hours ago, NOT A TA said:

Some info on IDing the Cane toad from the Southern toad for those in the USA  http://ufwildlife.ifas.ufl.edu/frogs/canetoad.shtml

I'm colorblind so the coloring info doesn't really help me but my pet looks more like a southern toad to me (old man who uses 2.5 reading glasses). Anyone else have an opinion?

Meanwhile, I was planting grass sprigs today and heard rustling behind me. None of my immediate neighbors have chickens and being a suburban neighborhood no one is supposed to have them.

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 If I remember correctly / as the referenced guide states, Canes have no cranial crests between the eyes, and triangular Pateroid glands that run down the shoulder a bit. Same gland on Southern Toad is oval and hovers more above the shoulder than it wraps around/ runs down it.  Hard to tell at the distance pictured though.

Surprised about the Chickens, not sure what the law is but a lot of people here in Chandler / across Phoenix keep them in their yards.. Remember neighbors having them also back where I grew up in Cambrian Park ( suburban neighborhood in Southwest San Jose / Los Gatos area ).. Wonder if your visitor is  part of a feral flock? Like the ones down in Key West..

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greysrigging

We are allowed to keep chooks in suburban back yards in Darwin.... there are all sorts of town council rules and regulations which absolutely everyone ignores, and the regulations are rarely policed unless a complaint has been made, almost always involving roosters crowing at 4.00am.... lol ( never mind dogs that bark 24/7 )
Norfolk Island ( East of Australia and North of New Zealand ) has a huge population of feral chickens, in fact the place is overrun with them. They have reverted back to bantam size and coloring and are true ferals.
We always kept chickens at home when my kids were small, had a rooster named Max. Actually 'Mad Max' , the title character in the Mel Gibson movies ( The Road Warrior in the US ).
This rooster was evil personified....haha
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NOT A TA

A lot of the regulations are ignored here also unless there's a complaint. Roosters will get a complaint from someone fairly quickly while just chickens will be ignored, at least for a while. . Almost all of the residents in my subdivision of 35 homes have come from other countries and don't think about or consider that what was acceptable where they came from might not be acceptable here. My next door neighbor (I'm very friendly with) showed up with these goats recently. I told him NO, you can't keep them in your backyard here. Take them away!

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greysrigging

Every garden visitor is big in the Northern territory....
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Daryl

We get a lot of Galahs here...both the birds and the humans (:D) ...finally they have come down onto the ground so I can shoot them!

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Missi

Listen, Mama Florida Black Bear and Cubs: Look for your chicken dinner elsewhere, you guys already ate my turkey hen last weekend! :rant: On the left side of the pen in the pics of the 2 cubs, you can see the mama bear coming down from climbing around on top of the pen. :blink2: She landed on the Satakentia. :angry:

P.S. Having an estimate done for installation of a bear-strength hot wire barrier around the pen this evening. :wacko:

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NOT A TA

You must really like having chickens Missi! I think I'd get rid of the food source so the bears would find somewhere else to scavenge/hunt.

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Daryl

Missi, I don't know how you can bear it! hehehe  If we have Chooks here we attract all kinds of snakes, or occasionally foxes, but fortunately no Bears in Oz...

Daryl

 

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greysrigging
On 7/19/2019 at 12:47 PM, Daryl said:

Missi, I don't know how you can bear it! hehehe  If we have Chooks here we attract all kinds of snakes, or occasionally foxes, but fortunately no Bears in Oz...

Daryl

 

Mind you, Drop Bears are nasty critters....
https://www.australiangeographic.com.au/news/2013/04/drop-bears-target-tourists-study-says/
https://australianmuseum.net.au/learn/animals/mammals/drop-bear/
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