Who goes there?

New mystery!

Two holes have been dug that seem to curve towards each other, connecting as an underground tunnel, near our guest cabin. Each tunnel entrance is about 6 inches wide, maybe 8 inches high. The holes are maybe 8-10 feet apart. Here’s one entrance…

And here’s a pic taken by a guest, showing some tracks (looks like roadrunner)…

Could it be a kit fox? We’ve never seen one here, but the habitat is right.

From my verbal description, our neighbor Miguel suggests it may be a burrowing owl family.

Any educated guesses would be welcome…


About jay babcock

JT Homesteader, Arthur Magazine ... Joshua Tree, CA ...
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5 Responses to Who goes there?

  1. Michel says:

    I left this on Facebook, but my guess is tortoise. We have them around our place too.

    • jay babcock says:

      Michel – Definitely not a tortoise. Not nearly wide enough… Dug overnight… Not underneath a creosote… And connected to each other… We have a tortoise burrow on our land and it looks completely different from this in every way.

  2. gg says:

    probably not a chupacabra then either…

  3. jenna says:

    From my friend the botantist, who has worked for years doing ecological surveys to catalogue what critters exist in our vicinity (before its determined whether a developer can decimate the area and what the fine will be if they go ahed and do it anyway):
    “So as far as the puzzler- they are correct about the roadrunner tracks- they’re very distinct. As far as those burrows, I would guess something a bit more mundane- ground squirrels. They sound like the right size and the lack of distinct tracks at the entrance (such as tail drag for kangaroo rats) or features that would indicate burrowing owl occupation (pellets, bones or other debris, whitewash, a well developed “apron” at the entrance) would rule these guys out, and they sound too small to be kit fox or coyote (and I don’t see any tracks), and it’s the wrong shape for a tortoise. It’s a pretty small list of possibilities when you get out to the desert (I spy Krameria sp. in the burrow pic- definitely in the desert proper!), and size and sign will reveal what might be lurking beneath fairly easily. “

    • jay babcock says:

      Jenna & botanist friend – Thanks for the input BUT I think the size of both entrances (perhaps not represented well in the photos) is just too wide and high for this to be a rat or squirrel hole — the tunnel entrances are each at least 6 inches high and wide. My best guess right now is it is a burrowing owl hole… but they abandoned it not long after establishing it. Dunno….

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