While the monolithic saguaro cactus, stretching its arms to the blue desert sky might well be the most popular emblem of the Sonoran desert, you won't see any saguaros around Sedona, at least not in the wild. Most of red rock country is too high in elevation for the saguaro, but not so for Arizona's other well-known cactus, the prickly pear. They're tolerant of many different soils and climates, which is why you'll see it all over the state. Prickly pear flourish in the hot dry Sonoran desert and mingle with the pine trees at up to 9000 feet in the high country.
Sedona Wildlife and Natural History
Animals, Birds, Reptiles and Amphibians, Insects, and Plants of Sedona and the Verde Valley
Learn all about wildlife, including birds, trees, plants, and flowers, common to Sedona and the surrounding area. The natural history of the Sedona and the Verde Valley is unique, with the riparian green-belt of Oak Creek attracting a surprising diversity of animals and birds.
The Cooper's hawk is a medium-sized hawk common to Sedona, Arizona. Its range is widespread, from Southern Canada to Northern Mexico. As in many birds of prey, the male is smaller than the female. This beautiful hawk is easily confused with the sharp-shinned hawk. The easiest way to tell the difference is...
The northern cardinal is a common bird around Sedona, Arizona, but generally rare in the Western states. Sedona is in the far northern part of its range in Arizona. In fact, most cardinals in the USA are only found East of the Rockies.
Sedona Arizona's famous bird resident takes no prisoners!
The Greater RoadrunnerThey're goofy, rangy, amusing but seemingly harmless. Oh, but don't be fooled. Forget the dopey purple "Beep Beep!" critter made famous by the Warner Brothers cartoons.
One of the most likely wildlife encounters one can expect while visiting or hiking in Sedona will be with the javelina, also known as the collared peccary. They are ubiquitous in red rock country, and if you see one, there are most likely five, six or more close by. Beware if there are javelina mothers with babies!
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