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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

A Scamper of Coatis

After my successful morning with Elegant Trogons, I thought I would spend the afternoon traveling up another Huachuca Mountain canyon. I decided on Carr Canyon, where I got several lifer birds such as Whiskered Screech Owl November 1999. My 4WD stint up the canyon was fairly rugged but generally uneventful. Saw a few Yellow-eyed Juncos which were new for this trip, but no other birds I hadn't seen as recent as this morning. It was on my way back downhill that things got interesting.

I was driving down a switchback and I jammed on the breaks as three Coati Mundis tore out of the bushes on the downhill side of the road, racing uphill. Now for starters, I thought Coatis were nocturnal but though they are related to racoons, they are largely creatures of the day, not of the night. I was excited and already disappointed thinking 'no photos!'  I drove along the road at .001 mph, and looking uphill saw a Coati peering at me from behind a bolder. When it saw I as looking at it, the animal ducked back. I was laughing when I happened to catch a glimpse of movement in my rear view mirror. A herd of Coati Mundis, behind me on the road were racing uphill. Grabbing my camera, and ran back up the road.

Leaping the channel

 As this Coati scrambled up the slope, it stopped for a long look at the weird human.

One Coati was as curious about me, as I was about it

All together I saw about a dozen Coatis. They ran across & over the dirt road, then scrambled up the hill.  I think I got photos of at least 2 different animals but the ones above are likely the same animal. All in all, my trip up Carr Canyon was a success even if I didn't see any new birds. I mean, it's not every day I get to see a 'lifer' mammal.

Canyon Towhee in Carr Canyon
In the afternoon I left my little inexpensive motel and headed for the little town of Patagonia. I visited the town birding back in 1999. Got a room in yet another cute little motel. Here the Barn Swallows dip and dive, taking great gulps of water from the motel pool, and perching on the light sconces. Tomorrow's plan call for birding Nature Conservency's Sonoita Patagonia Creek. 


  1. Great pictures, what a strange little thing a coati is. Well done catching the camera shy guys.

  2. Good eye, thank you. a-gi-tla-gi