defining RMG by fauna

digit(ID/WA)February 28, 2009

Probably there are others who are not sitting under a roof with snow and not having an achy cold. Those people should be out getting ready for Spring growing. But, when you come back in the house, how about thinking for a moment on the the natural world you find out there?

Back a few years ago, we had a conversation on defining the region that drifted from climate zones into native flora. I had a lot of fun with that and thought that fauna may be fun to discuss, also.

First off, my ideas about amphibians & insects went nowhere. Newts seem to be separated by the Rocky Mountains east to west. In our spirit of inclusion - we can't have that. Insects (or at least the grasshoppers that I was looking at ;o) are apparently only considered threats to agriculture and I soon tired of reading thru advice on irradiating any and all rather than on what-lives-where. (Should have gone with the butterflies, I guess.)

I went on to a favorite subject - birds. The Mountain Chickadee looks like a likely candidate except that its forest home means that our gardeners on the high plains and prairies aren't likely to see it in their gardens. Please correct me if I am wrong. It is a year-around resident throughout the Rockies, Cascades, and Sierra Nevadas.

I like the idea of the American 3-toed woodpecker as a representative but a woodpecker needs wood to peck. And besides, and despite its name, the American 3-toed lives widely across northern Canada and only ventures into the states along the Rocky cordillera. Maybe something of a "mountaineer" altho' not of a flamboyant nature.

We aren't likely to find them in our gardens (where's that pond gardener?) but there is a water bird that isn't at all UNcommon to much our region. He's a charming little guy - Barrow's Goldeneye. Problem is that this little duck doesn't nest south of Wyoming & Idaho and, while a Winter visitor, may not get too far out into the plains in the southern part of his range. (?)

There are some birds that I had to discount right away like the Ruby-crowned Kinglet despite my fondness for them. They may live throughout our northern pine forest but pine forests are not unique to the Rockies. Kinglets live right across the North American Continent.

Ravens, magpies, bald eagles, trumpeter swans, sandhill cranes, etc. etc. won't do. Like the little Kinglets, they don't confine themselves to our part of the world. (Did you know that the word "peregrine" means: wandering, pilgrim, and foreigner?)

Birds, amphibians, reptiles, mammals that we may find in and around all of our Rocky Mountain gardens - what are your ideas about them? (Oh, and the only earthworm species that are natives, live around the world! ;o)


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I think I may have found it!

Here is a link that might be useful: Mountain Cottontail (Sylvilagus nuttallii)

    Bookmark   February 28, 2009 at 2:02PM
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Skybird - z5, Denver, Colorado

That's an easy one, Digit! Certainly EVERYBODY out here has Jackalopes (Lepus-temperamentalus), and I'm SURE nobody else in the country does!


P.S. If I don't come back to post for a few days, I got back WAY late from my trip today--and leave WAY early again tomorrow! But I did enjoy reading back over the Grand View thread!

Here is a link that might be useful: The Western Jackalope!

    Bookmark   February 28, 2009 at 7:54PM
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Despite my aversion to them, I looked a little at mice, voles and pocket gophers. They seem a rather diverse clan.

That's the most foul, cruel, and bad-tempered rodent you ever set eyes on!
Look, that rabbit's got a vicious streak a mile wide! It's a killer!
He'll do you up a treat, mate.
I'm warning you!

Tim, Monty Python and the Holy Grail

    Bookmark   March 1, 2009 at 10:58AM
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I like it! Of course, we may only be able to make a positive ID as we prep it for Hassenpfeffer.


    Bookmark   March 3, 2009 at 11:52AM
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david52 Zone 6

My 11 yr old DD has, to her delight, discovered our old VCR tape of Monte Python and the Holy Grail, and watches it about twice a month.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2009 at 5:46PM
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