Critters

Welcome to our Critter page. Snow Canyon State Park is home to a diverse number of Critters.  Some are very elusive, others are quite visible. What a wonderful experience it is to have a sighting while out on a hike or bike ride. The photos below have been provided by Friends of Snow Canyon members and other visitors to the park. The photos are presented in random order as sightings of our Critters come when you may least expect them. Look carefully at all the desert has to offer.  Should you have a wonderful photo, please share with us by submitting to friendsofsnowcanyon@gmail.com  with the word Critters in the subject line. Please submit photos in .jpg format.  We plan to continually update our page to add new photos and details about Critters.

Bewick’s Wren

Bewick's Wren
photo by Maria Jeffs. Thryomanes bewickii, each time they lay an egg the size increases! Their skills include learning bird songs from neighboring males and keeping wasps out of active nestboxes they hang.

Antelope Squirrel in Yucca

Antelope Squirrel
photo by Vickie Honchen. Ammospermophilus, are ground squirrels that are able to resist hyperthermia and can survive body temperatures over 40 degrees C.

Honey Bees

Honey Bees
photo by B.J. Behnke. Apis are speedy and fly at 15mph. The wings stroke at 11,400 times a minute which makes their distinctive buzz. One average worker bee only produces about 1/12 of a teaspoon of honey in her lifetime.

Gila Lizard

Gila Monster
photo by Bob Pringle. Heloderma suspectum, is the only venomous lizard in the United States. Gila Monster Lizards roamed alongside dinosaurs 100 million years ago.

Gambil’s Quail

Gambel"s Quail
photo by Bob and Barbara Pringle. Callipepla gambelii, are considered monogamous. Males entice females by offering bits of food. this is called "tidbitting" and it is the way that females select a mate.

Cooper’s Hawk

Cooper's Hawk
photo by Colin McMechan, Accipter cooperii, uses the "perch and pursue" technique which suits the quick speed and maneuver-ability of this hawk.

Desert Spiny Lizard

Desert Spiny Lizard
photo by Colin J. McMechan. Sceloporus magister, change color becoming lighter during daylight to reflect more of the sun's rays changing to a darker color at night. They grow up to 14" long.

Desert Tortoise

Desert Tortoise
photo by Debbie Call. Gopherus agassizii is one of the most elusive creatures. They spend 95% of their time underground.

Gopher Snake

Gopher Snake
photo by Isabelle Kalantes. Pituophis catenifer, can be between 36-96" long and range in color from cream-yellow to green gray tones. Prey is killed by constriction and suffocation.

Red Tailed Hawk

Red Tailed Hawk and her chick
photo by Mike Van Cantfort. Buteo jamaicensis, is a top predator. They can spot a mouse from 100 feet in the air, about 10 stories high.

Sharp-shinned Hawk

Sharp Shinned Hawk
photo by Brent Chettle. Accipiter striatus, the smallest of bird-hunting hawks, it is the most migratory, travelling from Alaska to Panama. It stays out of sight and approaches its prey stealthily and swiftly.

Rock Wren

Rock Wren
photo by Mike and Cindy Van Cantfort. Salpinctes obsoletus, are home in barren piles of boulders. They bounce on short legs while giving a metallic call note that echoes among the rocks.

House Finch

House Finch
photo by Rod Chrysta. Haemorhous mexicanus, are vegetarians that feed their nestlings exclusively plant foods which is rare in the bird world. When they chose a mate they seem to chose one as genetically different as to prevent in-breeding.

Rock Squirrel

Rock Squirrel
photo by Mike Van Cantfort. Spermophilius variegatus, these squirrels are very speedy and make burrows in the ground and nests in the rocks. They climb and roam even the slenderest of branches in search of food.

Side Blotched Lizard

Side Blotched Lizard
photo by Isabelle Kalantzes. Uta stansburiana, are very abundant and commonly observed. They are prey for many desert species. Males use a "push-up" display to defend their territory

Roadrunner

Roadrunner
photo by Brent Chettle. Geococcyx, can run up to 20mph and are the fastest flying birds.

Blue Gray Gnatcatcher

Blue Gray Gantcatcher
photo by Maria Jeffs. Polioptila caerulea, tiny songbird with insistent calls and constant motion. It hops and sidles in dense outer foliage, foraging for insects and spiders.

Cactus Wren

Cactus Wren
photo by Colin J. McMechan. Campylorhynchus brunneicapillus, are always up to something, whether hopping around on the ground, fanning their tails, scolding their neighbors or singing from the top of cacti.

Great Basin Rattlesnake

Great Basin Rattlesnake
photo by Margie Harris. Crotalus lutosus, is a venomous snake with thin neck and triangular head. colors vary including gray, buff, olive and yellowish brown. They do not attack, but will defend themselves if disturbed.

Mylitta Crescent

photo by Don Hite. Phyciodes mylitta, Small and delicate, the sexes vary slightly, but both are mostly orange with fine black undulate markings.

Monarch butterfly

Monarch butterfly
photo by Don Hite. Danaus plexippus is a milkweed butterfly. Monarchs wre transported to the International Space Station and bred there!

Black-tailed Jackrabbit

Black-tailed jackrabbit
photo by Don Hite. Lepus californicus is a common hare of the western United States. They cah be found at elevations from sea level up to 10,000'

Woodhouse Toad

Woodhouse Toad
photo by Jim Boone. Anaxyrus woodhousii is known for not being a noble hopper. This true toad is native to the United States and Mexico. It is a medium-sized (about 4") toad.