Wood Rats or “Pack rats”

pack rat standing in leavesThe bushy-tailed wood rat is mostly a species of the western mountains but can be found in the desert landscape of Arizona in areas of rock and sandstone outcroppings. They are large, handsome rodents measuring about 14 inches in length including the 6 inch tail. Adults weigh a little over half a pound. Packrats can be identified by their large ears and bushy tail.

The back is pale grayish brown with black wash. The sides are lighter brown and the belly and feet are white. Nest are found in areas that have rocky or sandstone outcroppings. They also may be found in buildings in close proximity to these rocky areas. This species is active year round primarily during the night. They feed on the leaves of shrubs, cactus for water, flowering plants, pine needles, fruits, and seed heads.

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