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The Cactus Wren is the State Bird for what western State?


Arizona State Map

  

Arizona

    

     Arizona is located in the Southwestern United States as one of the Four Corners states. Arizona is the sixth largest state in area, after New Mexico and before Nevada. Of the state's 113,998 square miles (295,000 km2), approximately 15% is privately owned. The remaining area is public forest and park land, state trust land and Native American reservations.

     Arizona is best known for its desert landscape, which is rich in xerophyte plants such as the cactus. It is also known for its climate, which presents exceptionally hot summers and mild winters. Less well known is the pine-covered high country of the Colorado Plateau in the north-central portion of the state, which contrasts with the desert Basin and Range region in the southern portions of the state.

     Due to its large area and variations in elevation, the state has a wide variety of localized climate conditions. In the lower elevations, the climate is primarily desert, with mild winters and extremely hot summers. Typically, from late fall to early spring, the weather is mild, averaging a minimum of 60F (16C). November through February are the coldest months, with temperatures typically ranging from 4075F (424C), with occasional frosts.

      About midway through February, the temperatures start to rise again, with warm days, and cool, breezy nights. The summer months of June through September bring a dry heat ranging from 90120F (3249C), with occasional high temperatures exceeding 125F having been observed in the desert area. Arizonas all-time record high is 128F (53C) recorded at Lake Havasu City on June 29, 1994, and July 5, 2007; the all-time record low of -40 was recorded at Hawley Lake on January 7, 1971.

      Cactus Wren

      The Cactus Wren is the largest North American wren, at 1823 cm (7.19.1 in) long. Unlike the smaller wrens, the Cactus Wren is easily seen. It has the loud voice characteristic of wrens. The Cactus Wren is much less shy than most of the family. Its marked white eye stripe, brown head, barred wings and tail, and spotted tail feathers make it easy to identify. Like most birds in its genus, it has a slightly curved bill.

      The Cactus Wren primarily eats insects, including ants, beetles, grasshoppers, and wasps. Occasionally, it will take seeds, fruits, small reptiles and frogs. Foraging begins late in the morning and is versatile; the cactus wren will search under leaves and ground litter and overturn objects in search of insects, as well as feeding in the foliage and branches of larger vegetation. Increasing temperatures cause a shift in foraging behavior to shady and cooler microclimates, and activity slows during hot afternoon temperatures. Almost all water is obtained from food, and free-standing water is rarely used even when found.

      It is a bird of arid regions, and is often found around yucca, mesquite or saguaro; it nests in cactus plants, sometimes in a hole in a saguaro, sometimes where its nest will be protected by the prickly cactus spines of a cholla or leaves of a yucca.

 

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Source: Wikipedia http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/