21. WILD ANIMALS, BIRDS, FISH, ETC.
THE most common wild animals of Arizona are the bear, elk, deer, antelope, wild goat, cougar or California lion, wolf, fox, wild cat, prairie dog, hare, rabbit, skunk, squirrel, beaver, mink, muskrat, etc., etc.
The different varieties of bear are the cinnamon, brown, black, and now and then a grizzly. The first three kinds are very numerous in all the mountainous parts of the country. The cinnamon bear is nearly as large as the grizzly bear, and a tough customer for a solitary hunter to meet.
There are three kinds of deer, all of which are very abundant in the mountains and foot hills. One kind is the white-tailed deer, common to the Northwestern States. A second kind is the common black-tailed deer of the Rocky and Sierra Nevada mountains. A third is also a black-tailed deer, but much larger, approximating
The large gray wolf is occasionally found, but not in large numbers. The common coyote wolf is found everywhere in great numbers. They are a dirty, sneaking, ill-looking animal, without the bravery to attack a man, unless in large packs, and in a starving condition.
The most common of the birds of Arizona are eagles, wild turkeys, grouse, quail, mocking birds, pelicans, herons, sand-hill cranes, wild geese, brant, wild ducks, wild pigeons, turtle doves, robins, blue jays, larks, and a great variety of smaller birds, and numerous quantities of vultures, hawks, crows, ravens, etc., etc.
Eagles are found in the higher mountains. Wild turkeys are found in mountainous districts, but more abundantly in the northern and eastern portions of the Territory. Many of them are of great size, often weighing forty or more pounds. They are always in good condition.
There are three varieties of quail, some of which are very numerous. One variety is similar to the Bob White quail of the eastern slope, and the two others are similar to the top-knot quail of California, but one is much larger.
Pelicans, herons of different kinds, sand-hill cranes (called in Arizona the Colorado turkey), wild geese, brant, and ducks, are found in large numbers along the great rivers, and geese and ducks elsewhere in lakes, ponds, and mountain streams.
The chaparral cock, or California road runner, is found generally through the Territory. It is a tall, slender bird, weighing about one pound, is a fast runner, and does not fly to any distance. Wonderful stories are told of its fights with the rattlesnake, which it is said to surround with branches of cactus to prevent its getting away, and then kill it by continued and persistent attacks.
There is also a small bird, no larger than the wren, which is called the rattlesnake-killer, and which it is asserted pursues the same tactics as the road runner in the destruction of the rattlesnake.1
In the Colorado and Gila rivers are large quantities of what are called the Colorado and Gila River salmon, an excellent fish, but quite different from the salmon of California and Oregon, more resembling the cod of the Atlantic Coast. Varieties of the bass and perch are also abundant. The mountain streams have smaller fish, but similar to those of the large rivers, and in the upper branches of Salt River, the White and Black rivers and their tributaries, are large quantities of the mountain trout, where the admirers of Isaak Walton can find rare sport and enjoyment seldom surpassed.
1. Turdus polyglottus of Linnœus.