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Couch’s Spadefoot

Be cautious handling Couch’s spadefoot toads as they have a skin secretion that can cause allergic reactions in some people. Reactions to secretions can make cuts and scratches painful, as well as result in sneezing, running nose, and watery eyes.

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Sagebrush Sparrow

Breeding territories vary in size and shape, but sagebrush sparrows can maintain some of the largest territories known for any sparrow species. Where sagebrush sparrows are uncommon, their territories can increase in size without limit. Also, the sagebrush sparrow has been split and lumped with Bell’s sparrow, but was recently split again as a separate species. Bell’s sparrow is found in California, southern Nevada, and Baja California.

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Henslow’s Sparrow

The Henslow’s sparrow has the simplest and shortest song of any North American songbird, a thin tze-lick insect-like song, accurately described as a “feeble hiccup.”

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Northern Bobwhite

Northern bobwhites have a high annual mortality rate and short life spans. When weather and habitat conditions permit, however, they can compensate for this high mortality with increased chick production. An adult pair can successfully produce two or more broods (≥25 offspring) during a single breeding season.

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Chestnut-collared Longspur

These birds derive their name from their coloring and the elongated claw of the backward-facing toe, the “longspur”. Unlike many songbirds that live in forests, chestnut-collared longspurs and other grassland birds do not hop on the ground, but walk or run.

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Scissor-tailed Flycatcher

During the breeding season, scissor-tailed flycatchers live on their own or with a mate. However, before migrating south for the winter, scissor-tailed flycatchers often gather in large groups to rest (or roost). These flocks may contain a hundred or even a thousand individuals. The birds will also gather in large flocks on their wintering grounds, but they leave the flock to feed on their own or in pairs. They very rarely feed within the large flock.

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Gray Flycatcher

Until the early 1900s, gray flycatchers were believed to breed only in northern Mexico and then wander north in the U.S. in the fall. After discovering new information about gray flycatchers, such as their distinct downward tail wag, ecologists were better able to distinguish the species in the field from other similar-looking flycatchers and document its breeding range.

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New Mexico Meadow Jumping Mouse

Beavers significantly impact New Mexico jumping mouse habitat as their dams create slow moving, permanent water sources that encourage diverse and dense vegetation growth that the mice rely on. Beaver activity can also act as a natural fire break.

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Western Jumping Mouse

When western jumping mice emerge from hibernation in late spring or early summer, they have lost 18% of their body weight from the previous year. Adults quickly build up their fat reserves of up to 2/3 of their body weight to survive the long winter underground without food stores.

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