Benefits of early morning walks

javelina in a neighbor's yard

One of the benefits of walking at dawn is the wildlife we get to see. This morning it was this herd of Javelina in front of a neighbor’s house. I texted the photo to the neighbors to show them the shenanigans going on in their driveway while they were sleeping.

What is a javelina you might ask?

Javelina (Tayassu tajacu) also known as collared peccary, are medium-sized animals that look similar to a wild boar. They have mainly short coarse salt and pepper colored hair, short legs, and a pig-like nose. The hair around the neck/shoulder area is lighter in color giving it the look of a collar. Javelina have long, sharp canine teeth which protrude from the jaws about an inch.

One major adaptation for survival is the fact that javelina live in large family groups. The average group size is 10 or less, but a few herds have known to number up to 53 animals. Each group defends a territory which includes their sleeping and feeding areas. They communicate with their own family group and other groups using sounds and smells.

Javelina live in desert washes, saguaro and palo verde forests, oak woodlands, and grasslands with mixed shrubs and cacti.

They can be found in the deserts of southwest Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, southward through Mexico and Central America and into northern Argentina.

Other creatures we have seen are tiny baby bunnies, quail families, coyotes and mule deer.

mule deer in the street
Mule deer that crossed the street at dawn.

We are going adventuring in the area this weekend and I’ll write about that next week.

Have you seen javelina before? What plans do you have for the weekend?

27 thoughts on “Benefits of early morning walks

  1. My daughter leaves for South Africa on Sunday morning, so we have been basically self quarantining this week…so Saturday I’m helping her pack and watching tv/playing games, and after she leaves on Sunday morning my husband and I are going to botanic garden where they’re having a wine tasting event…flowers and wine…oh my…

  2. I’ve never seen or heard of a javelina before so this was so interesting. I like to take early morning walks too but all I usually see are birds and monkeys which is pretty common here (in Nairobi).

    • It was so funny because I stopped take a photo during our walk and my husband didn’t notice them. I kept saying “Turn around!” Finally he did. There were two babies in the herd, which makes them even scarier.

  3. wow, that is interesting. The husband and I used to meet wild boars biking off trail in Florida. They can be scary but not quite as much as meeting an alligator sunning itself on a trail (which for the record, we have not).

  4. I’ve never seen a real javelina! Your picture is amazing! This weekend Larry and I are staying at the lake. We have three jobs: put the boat in the water, hang lights on the patio, and replace the broken dryer! The fun never ends….but on Sunday night we’re meeting up with a group of old friends for a nice dinner and catching up! Hugs, C

Leave a Reply