Interesting Sightings & Natural Phenomena

  • Opuntia basillaris flower opening/closing (March 2015) April 21, 2015
    In March of 2015, Peggy Fiedler, Kathleen Wong, and Lobsang Wangdu (UCNRS UCOP) visited the Granite Mountains in search of unique footage for their 50th Anniversary film highlighting the various reserves. In addition to some great landscape and wildflower photos (see below), Lobsang set up a time-lapse photo shoot (every 5 seconds, 7-9 am) on ...
  • Little Pocket Mouse May 20, 2010
    In May of 2010 Shauna McDonald joined the UC Riverside Terrestrial Vertebrates class taught by John Rotenberry to do some small rodent trapping. She was able to show the class 7 different species, including Merriam Kangaroo Rat (Dipodomys merriami), Panamint Kangaroo Rat (Dipodomys panamintinus), Long-tailed pocket mouse (Chaetodipus formosus), Desert Cottontail (Sylvilagus audobonii), Southern Grasshopper Mouse (Onychomys torridus), Cactus Mouse (Peromiscus eremicus), and the Little Pocket Mouse (Perognathus longimembris), which crawled ...
  • Phainopepla video April 20, 2010
    We were lucky to have filmakers Kennan and Karen Ward stay in Granite Cove for a few days in May while they were trying to capture images and video clips of the plants and animals of the Mojave Desert. They were able to capture a Phainopepla (Phainopepla nitens) feeding her young and removing excrement from their nest ...
  • Eurasian Collared Dove and Peregrine Falcon April 15, 2010
    We added two bird species to our list this season, thanks to Breck Tyler’s acute observations. One of the species was the Eurasian Collared Dove (Streptopelia decaocto), a non-native species that has been spreading across the country.  The other sighting was of a Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus), a much more exciting find. Breck was here teaching the University ...
  • Acorn Woodpecker and Redstart April 10, 2010
    In November 2009, Assistant Director Tasha La Doux spotted an Acorn Woodpecker (Melanerpes formicivorus) in Granite Cove; this species had never been recorded in the Granite Mountains. In addition, she saw a Painted Redstart (Myioborus pictus) in April 2010, which is a rare sighting for this area.
  • Bobcat on video May 17, 2007
    Brian Kot, a researcher from UCLA, gave us a video clip of a Bobcat (Felis rufus) hauling away its dinner (Jackrabbit) along Kelbaker Road in Mojave National Preserve. However, the real reason Brian was out with his video camera at this time of night was to a woodrat climbing a shrub. He is interested in the locomotion of these desert animals and ...
  • Mountain Lion sighting April 12, 2007
    Bee researcher Laurelin Evanhoe, from Cornell University, spotted a Mountain Lion (Felis concolor) in Granite Cove around 11pm on April 11th, 2007. This is a very rare sighting and an exciting one at that!
  • “Hackberry” Fire in Mojave National Preserve June 10, 2006
    In June of 2005 the Mojave National Preserve witnessed a 70,000 acre burn, called the Hackberry Complex Fires.  As a direct result of this fire there was a phenomenal bloom all throughout the burn area despite the lack of rain.  During March – May of 2006, the landscape was filled with purple, yellow, white, and ...
  • Spring 2006 rare birds April 1, 2006
    The spring of 2006 proved to be an exceptional year for rare birds visiting the Granite Mountains, with several new species documented for the range. Highlights included several eastern US species, including a Northern Parula, an Indigo Bunting, and a Rose-breasted Grosbeak. There were also a number of unusual sightings for the range, including a Yellow-headed Blackbird ...