Sedona is home to several species of rattlenakes, including the black-tailed rattlesnake, the prairie rattlesnake, the diamondback rattlesnake, and the Mojave rattlesnake. These snakes fill a purposeful niche by keeping rodent populations under control. They also strive to avoid humans and warn those coming too close. Find out how to be safe in Sedona while hiking in places inhabited by these beautiful but dangerous creatures.
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 already-lazy traffic comes to a halt one damp afternoon in the town of Sedona, Arizona.
Two people are in the middle of the two-lane highway through town, holding up their hands to stop the cars and poking at something on the ground with their toes, ushering it slowly toward the curb. The drivers' irritation reflex begins to kick in, until they see the cause for the holdup. It's Arizona's version of the Boston children's classic Make Way for Ducklings - it's Make Way for Aphonopelma Chalcodes, better known to most of us as the desert tarantula.
A short day trip from Sedona, area visitors can venture into the high desert wilds of Northern Arizona to find prairie dog colonies, referred to as "towns." These cuddly-looking little "dogs" peer curiously above their burrows, always on the lookout for danger and signaling their clan through a variety of chirps and calls. Endearing to watch, they love to hug and kiss (literally!), and exhibit a complex yet fascinating lifestyle while benefiting over a hundred other wildlife species.
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!
When most people think "desert," they think hot, barren, and dry. While those are all half-acceptable descriptors, the desert has kind of a dual nature.
Sure, it gets hot, with the mid-summer temperatures around Sedona creeping toward 100, but the winter can bring snow, frost and a biting wind, even to lower desert areas.
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