The great horned owl (Bubo Virginianus), sometimes known as the tiger owl, have a lifespan of about 15-25 years and weigh around 3 lbs. They have a top speed of 40 mph, with a wingspan of 4.6 feet. These owls are very adaptive and can live anywhere from deserts, wetlands, forests, grasslands, backyards, and cities. Like other large birds of prey in Arizona, these owls hunt a span of creatures from other large raptors to the smallest rodents, including house pets.
Red Tailed Hawk
A red-tailed hawk (Buteo Jamaicensis) lives roughly 10-15 years, and weigh 1.5–3.5 lbs. They can fly an impressive top speed of 120 mph. These birds are highly adaptive to living just about anywhere in the USA. Red-tailed hawks can be found in forests, deserts, and even urban cities. These hawks have a wingspan of 43–55 inches. They are hunters through and through, preying on just about anything; insects, fish, rats, rabbits, squirrels, to smaller birds, and even reptiles. With such a large pool of choices they are even known to go after pets like smaller dogs and cats. Fun fact: their cries are often used in place of eagles in movies!
The cougar (Filis Concolor) lives approximately 10–20 years, weighing 64 lbs to 198 lbs. They have a top speed of 30 mph and live solitary lifestyle. They usually hunt at night and the gloaming hours of dusk and dawn. Being the largest of the big cats in North America, their diet varies from deer and other hoofed animals to crocodiles. They are the ambush predator type and will lie and wait for their prey. Cougars live in a wide variety of habitats, from forests to the mountains. As we move further into there homes, we interact with them more and more. Cougars are very large, powerful, and dangerous animals and you should avoid them at all cost.
The North American black bear (Ursus Americanus) can live roughly 15–30 years, and weigh between 220 lbs to 594 lbs. These solitary and nocturnal hunters, have a top speed of 30 mph. They live in Northern Arizona forests and spend most of their time walking in search of food. They require a massive amount of food and fat for the coming winters. Though classified as a carnivore, the black bear’s diet is 75-95% vegetarian depending on the availability of food, different to each location. Due to their size, black bears can be very dangerous to humans and our pets. Always keep an eye out for your pets and children when in an area that bears may roam.
The coyote (Canis Latrans) can live up to 10–15 years, weighing anywhere between 15 pounds to a massive 46 pounds. They can run upwards of 40 mph and are known to be active both in the day and night but mostly hunt in the evening to early mornings, as a pack or alone. Located mostly in the Arizona deserts, they are quite adaptable, and can be found in the mountains, forest, and even our local golf courses. They’re very good at jumping and can climb, having very little trouble scaling walls. As humans move further into the natural habitat of these animals, they have more and more interactions with humans, so over time they have learned to adapt.Your garbage cans, and small pets can be an easy meal for a hungry pack, so make sure to secure your pets and put away your cans.