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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.

Arizona ravens are known for their intelligence as well as amusing antics.

In Praise of the Arizona Raven

Of all the magnificent birds associated with the desert Southwest, the Common Raven gets short shrift in the publicity department. Compared to the California condor, poster-bird for late 20th century conservation efforts, the quirky roadrunner immortalized by Saturday morning cartoons, or even the roly-poly quail that putter around every backyard from Tucson to Sedona, the raven barely gets a nod as having a place in Arizona's natural and cultural landscape.

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Sedona Birding: Ladder-Backed Woodpecker at Bell Rock Pathway

Ladder-back WoodpeckerThere it was. A loud, distinctive, and short “peek” directly overhead. Then another and then several in a row: what birders refer to as the “rattle call.” The glare of the afternoon sun made it a little difficult to look up in the direction of the sound, but after a bit of repositioning, there he was — busy working at a small hole in the skeleton of what appeared to be a pinyon pine.

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Javelina, the Collared Peccary in Sedona Arizona.

The Javelina - Sedona, Arizona's Famous Pig-Like Desert Dweller

They're hairy, stinky, and downright adorable! Meet the Javelina, Sedona's famous pig-like desert dweller. Otherwise known as the Collared Peccary, the Javelina is one of three species of New World peccaries. They look like small, very hairy pigs, with bulky bodies perched on short legs with dainty three-toed hooves. Their hair is long and bristly, with spiky ruffs around their necks and sometimes on top of their heads. Baby javelina, or piglings, look a little more like domestic piglets, plus a lot of hair.

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The Ringtail Cat, Arizona State Mammal, also lives in the Sedona area.

The Ringtail Cat — Arizona State Mammal at Home in Sedona

Shout it out if you can name Arizona's State Mammal! Coyote? Good guess, but wrong. Mountain Lion? Fearsome, but no. Javalina? Mule Deer? Antelope? Antel-nope! Feel like you've run out of Arizona mammals? Shame on you! How can you forget Bassariscus astusus, the lithe little critter that 'round these parts we call the Ringtail Cat?

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