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 60°F (16°C). November through February are the coldest months, with temperatures typically ranging from 40–75°F (4–24°C), 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 90–120°F (32–49°C), with occasional high temperatures exceeding 125°F having been observed in the desert area. Arizona’s all-time record high is 128°F (53°C) 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.
The Cactus Wren is the largest North American wren, at 18–23 cm (7.1–9.1 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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