Desert Animals That Live in a Cactus

Written by elias westnedge
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Desert Animals That Live in a Cactus
Cacti house several types of animals. (cactus im jardin de cactus image by Karsten Thiele from

Cacti (singular cactus) are a class of plants that grow in desert regions. The plants are adapted to live in extremely dry desert climates, and store large quantities of water in their stems. Cacti are home to desert animals, including many types of birds.

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Gila Woodpecker

The Gila woodpecker (Melanerpes uropygialis) is a species of bird that dwells in the Sonoran Desert in the southwestern United States. According to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, the bird makes its nest in the Saguaro cactus, a large species of cactus that grows in Arizona and California. The woodpecker, which has healthy population numbers, has brown feathers and black and white markings on its wings. According to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, males of the species have a patch of red on the top of their heads.

Gilded Flicker

The gilded flicker (Colaptes chrysoides) is a desert bird that dwells inside the trunk of the Saguaro cactus. The animal, which is common throughout the Sonoran Desert, is approximately 11 inches long and has a 19-inch wingspan, according to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. The gilded flicker is brown with black and red markings. The bird dines on insects, which it reaches by foraging on the ground.

Western Screech Owl

The western screech owl (Megascops kennicottii) is a species of owl that makes nests inside Saguaro cacti in the Sonoran Desert. The owl, which has brown and white feathers and large eyes, has an average wingspan of approximately 21 to 22 inches. The animal is nocturnal, coming out a few minutes after dark and resting during the day. The owl is known to be territorial and may attack humans, according to The Owl Pages. The western screech owl dines on rodents, insects and small birds.

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