Bighorn fun in Anza

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PNWHerper
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Bighorn fun in Anza

Post by PNWHerper » February 17th, 2012, 8:39 pm

While hiking up a canyon in Anza Borrego, my wife and I observed some bighorn sheep very up close and personal.

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Two big rams started coming down the hillside towards us, then started chasing each other. The chasing turned into fighting...

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The impact...

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... and the recoil!

We were so close, that we had to move and get out of their way. It was pretty intense! They were bashing heads at less than 30 feet away. At that distance, you can feel the impact in your chest as much as through your ears...

After several solid head butts, they started kicking each other... right in the ...

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Needless to say we thought that was hilarious... and it was a bit painful to watch. It was like one ram would kick the other, and the other tried not to flinch...

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The ewes looked on from much higher on the hillside...

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... as did the dominant ram. We watched him approach and check with the ewe wearing the blue collar for receptivity.

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Needless to say, it was an epic day!

And, oh yeah... the herping was good too:

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SurfinHerp
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Re: Bighorn fun in Anza

Post by SurfinHerp » February 17th, 2012, 9:32 pm

What a great day in the desert! Love the head-butting and kicking photos. I saw some similar action once in mid-October, but I wonder if there's another time of year that might be good. What time of year were you there?

Oh yeah, that collared lizard is pretty awesome too.


Jeff

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herper79
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Re: Bighorn fun in Anza

Post by herper79 » February 18th, 2012, 6:57 am

Nice, very lucky to be there. When I was there with some friends we didn't see a collard, was that in the canyon also? We did see the baja brush in there. and only one big horn

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PNWHerper
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Re: Bighorn fun in Anza

Post by PNWHerper » February 18th, 2012, 9:43 am

What a great day in the desert! Love the head-butting and kicking photos. I saw some similar action once in mid-October, but I wonder if there's another time of year that might be good. What time of year were you there?
Jeff,

That is great that you got to see it happen too. It is an amazing sight!

We were there in August, 2010.
Nice, very lucky to be there. When I was there with some friends we didn't see a collard, was that in the canyon also? We did see the baja brush in there. and only one big horn
herper79,

The Collared lizard was at the mouth of a canyon, not very far in. The amazing thing about Anza Borrego is how many kinds of habitats you have and how quickly they change with the elevation.

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Andy Avram
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Re: Bighorn fun in Anza

Post by Andy Avram » February 18th, 2012, 11:35 am

Very cool. I once saw a herd of juvenile Bighorns in S. Dakota run in front of our car and then do soem classic head-butting. Rear high on the hind legs and crash into each other, but they were so young their horns were not much different in size than a females.

I think if I were a sheep, I would prefer getting head butted then kicked in the crotch... ouch!

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