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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.

The Gambel's quail is a common bird in Sedona, Arizona.

Gambel's Quail, One of Sedona's Favorite Little Desert Friends

If you step out your front door one morning and it sounds like your front-yard prickly pear is talking to itself, no need to check yourself in. The chattering, muttering and burbling that emanates from beneath desert scrub all over the Southwest can usually be attributed to the Gambel's Quail, one of Arizona's favorite little desert friends. If you step closer to that babbling cactus, several quail will probably scurry out to take cover under the next bush, turning up the chatter and bobbing their absurd little topknots on the way. If it's early summer you'll see the fuzzy cotton-ball babies fumbling along after their parents, and you've hit the adorability jackpot.

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Towering ponderosa pines at West Fork, Oak Creek Canyon, Sedona, Arizona.

Ponderosa Pine and the Coconino National Forest of Arizona

As a girl raised among the dense rainforests of the Pacific Northwest, crowded with ferns, rhododendrons, and dripping with primordial mosses, my first glimpse of a Northern Arizona forest was a little disconcerting. Frankly, there just wasn't that much to it. From the roadside, all you see is a carpet of grass, lanky tree trunks spaced unsociably apart, and not much else. I was sure this was a sign of something amiss, but later learned this is just what a good stand of ponderosa pine should look like.

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