Great Horned Owl (Bubo virginiansus)
2 October 2015: We believe that this particular large bird of prey was a Great Horned Owl (Bubo virginiansus) based on the observation of its topside wing pattern and its heavy claws and its overall large size. There remain ever so wistfully still we think the tips of what were its horned feathers. We may be wrong and it could be a Barred Owl, if so, please advise and let's make the change. And if not, then this means we identified it properly the first time around. The body as it fell violently is contorted and one has to visualize where the various body parts that were its wings, head, claws and tail are to be found.
While driving for the first time to the Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge which is officially located in Sherman, Texas, we drove past this Great Horned Owl and decided to document its demise on State Highway 377 North at the intersection of Gardner Drive in Tioga, Texas. We include seven digital pics in this observation to facilitate its IDentification. Clearly, the carcass had lain wasting by the side of the road for at least a week or longer as its decomposition was fairly advanced. The elements, bacteria and any carrion eaters who may have stopped to visit the carcass had done their work and the wind on the day we stopped was already finishing the work of dispersing its remains as individual feathers lay about in a broad area adjacent to the road and site of the kill and one of its wings caught the wind and turned either way revealing the distinct patterns on both sides. The speed limit at this stretch of SH 377 is 70 miles per hour and traffic actually moves faster than the posted speed limit.
Great Horned Owl is a magnificent bird that is found from the northern tip of North America to the southern tip of South America. Great Horned Owl is truly a bird of the Americas and as such it is an original and authentic resident of the Western Hemisphere.
"Great Horned Owl (Bubo virginiansus)," Teton Raptor Center, includes description, photographs, and range map, accessed 10.3.15, http://tetonraptorcenter.org/learn/what-is-a-raptor/owls/great-horned-owl
"Great Horned Owl - Species Information," Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, description and photograph, accessed 10.3.15, https://www.desertmuseum.org/visit/rff_greathornedowl.php
Nine-banded Armadillo (Dasypus novemcinctus)
27 September 2015: On the return trip from Ray Roberts Lake State Park and Elm Fork Park we decided to stop and document a roadside kill we'd observed on the trip getting to these places and by then it was already dusk and the light was fast disappearing hence the light in the pics. We'd observed a Nine-banded Armadillo (Dasypus novemcinctus) on its back with all four of its legs halfway pointing toward the sky. The body of the Nine-banded Armadillo was already in rigor mortis but the blood was still fresh enough though it had begun turning a dark purple color. The incident that killed this Nine-banded Armadillo had likely happened earlier that same day. And the bugs and other carrion feeders had not quite yet begun their work of feasting on the carcass. State Highway 377 North is a busy state highway in an area of far northern Denton County, Texas that is fast developing and as a consequence it has lots of traffic in both directions, north and south. Before the building of Interstate 35 through this region in the late 1950s and early 1960s, State Highway 377 North would have been one of the major thoroughfares north to Oklahoma used by folks living in this region which is associated with being the far northern edge of the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area which currently has over seven million people and counting. So this stretch of highway unfortunately always has some roadkill to observe like this Nine-banded Armadillo.
Lince o gato montés atropellado en la Carretera Federal 45 Km 187+800, en el tramo de Sombrerete, Zac. a Vicente Guerrero, Dgo. justo frente a la localidad de Villa Insurgentes en el municipio de Sombrerete, Zac.
Era una hembra; adulto joven que no había tenido crías.
El ejemplar fue colectado el mismo día con el permiso de colecta de la Dra. Celia López González y depositado en la colección de mamíferos del CIIDIR IPN Unidad Durango.