Archive for November 4th, 2006

Mountain four-foot

Okay, here’s the scene: we’re driving on the river road upstream from Gila, checking out its condition for next time. Conclusion: just barely passable in the present condition with our wee rental car. Returning to town, and the highway to El Paso (via Silver City and Deming), we saw this guy (?), and a partner. By the time we got stopped and dug out the big camera with the long lens, they were down in the dry arroyo below the road, and I got this shot.

So, what is it? My first impression, when they ran across the road was “goat,” because the horns didn’t curl. Then I checked the web, and I revised: “sheep,” since all the mountain goats look totally different. And when I checked out this high-res photo, I also saw the radio collar. So, is it a bighorn sheep? Or, possibly an imported Barbary sheep? Or?

My final conclusion: bighorn mountain sheep (Ovis canadensis)….