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Desert Bighorn Sheep

Ovis canadensis nelsoni


Desert bighorn sheep are heavy-bodied sheep. Brownish in color with white rumps. Desert Bighorn tend to have longer legs and thiner tightly curved horns compared to their larger stockier mountain relatives. They can also go for longer periods of time without drinking water.


High Mountain Desert around 5,000 ft. containing rocky sandstone cliffs and formations.


For over a year I have tried to catch a glimpse of the Desert Bighorn Sheep, a threatened subspecie of the Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep. Yesterday, I caught a glimpse of a Mother and lamb and today I finally got some great shots of a couple males! Loss of grazing habitat and disease from domestic livestock have devastated desert bighorn sheep populations. This has been a once in a lifetime treat for me!

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25 Comments (1–25)

EmilyMarino 9 years ago

Thank you AntónioGinjaGinja!

Great capture Emily,beautiful series,congrats on the well deserved SOTD and thanks for sharing

EmilyMarino 9 years ago

Thank you Dilan Chathuranga and LaurenZarate!

Dilan Chathuranga
Dilan Chathuranga 9 years ago

Congratulations Emily!Very beautiful shots!!

LaurenZarate 9 years ago

Congratulations Emily, a very beautiful spotting!

EmilyMarino 9 years ago

Thank you all so much!

Congratulations Emily!

Wild Things
Wild Things 9 years ago


The MnMs
The MnMs 9 years ago


Pradeep Kumar
Pradeep Kumar 9 years ago

Congratulations on SOTD.

EmilyMarino 9 years ago

I couldn't agree more armadeus.4! Thank you for the kind words!

armadeus.4 9 years ago

Congratulations on SOTD and I'm so glad your patience has been so wonderfully rewarded :)

EmilyMarino 9 years ago

Thank you rams4d!

rams4d 9 years ago

Congrats, excellent pictures.

EmilyMarino 9 years ago

Thank you so much PN! I still love being a part of this community so much! So glad to be surrounded by other animal lovers that can appreciate the largest and smallest organisms on our incredible planet!

KarenL 9 years ago

Congrats Emily, your well-named desert bighorn sheep is our spotting of the day! Bighorn sheep used to roam North American in the millions, but by 1900 their numbers had plummeted to just a few thousand. Thanks to reintroductions and the establishment of the national parks, they have made a comeback in recent years.


Mark Ridgway
Mark Ridgway 9 years ago

Fantastic Emily. Your perseverance has paid off. Great spotting.. congratulations. The sequence is great too. "Ok, there's someone with a camera.... where's my escape route... yep I can easily run down there!"

EmilyMarino 9 years ago

Thank you Searra, they are amazing creatures. So resilient!

As for my favorite bird of prey, that is an easy one for me, surprisingly! My favorite raptor is the amazingly adaptable red-tailed hawk! They are found all over North America and can thrive in environments from the desert to the swamp to the forested mountains to our large cities! They come is so many amazing color varieties and subspecies too! What about you?

EmilyMarino 9 years ago

Thank you Sunny and Luis! We hiked in some very remote areas of the desert today. I was almost certain we would see more but never did. It made this mornings spotting even more special!

LuisStevens 9 years ago

Great find Emily!

sunnyjosef 9 years ago

Beautiful photos Emily!

EmilyMarino 9 years ago

Thank you all! It was a special morning to be able to even see these beauties, let alone photograph them!

Maria dB
Maria dB 9 years ago

Congratulations on achieving your goal, Emily, and for sharing your spotting of this threatened species.

The MnMs
The MnMs 9 years ago

Nice spotting, Emily!

Dilan Chathuranga
Dilan Chathuranga 9 years ago

nice close up!!!

Spotted by

Colorado, USA

Spotted on Aug 2, 2014
Submitted on Aug 3, 2014

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