You might think that bachelor party attendees are Las Vegas’ only wildlife, but I’m happy to tell you that actual animals—with four legs and/or wings—live in Las Vegas. In my neighborhood, we have woodpeckers (they keep trying to nest in our stucco), finches, sparrows, doves, grackles, robins, hummingbirds, and pigeons. I’ve seen hawks, a great horned owl, and a turkey vulture. Rats have moved in, much to our dismay. When I saw one running across the street recently, I initially thought it was a confused White-tailed Antelope Squirrel. But some of my favorite desert critters are lizards. We have a wealth of them in our backyard, some of them with identifiable characteristics—like the one I call Hook Tail. At my mom-in-law’s condo, they’re in the shrubs and rocks. My brother-in-law, whom I’m now calling “The Lizard Whisperer” caught this tiny little guy on Mom's patio. I think I saw its dad yesterday, but as soon as he saw me looking at him, he took off. If you want to see the wildlife in Las Vegas, you've got to pay attention. Unlike those bachelor party attendees, the real wildlife is a little bit shy.
Photograph courtesy of Sandy Hoskins