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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.

Prairie dogs can be found in the high desert of Northern Arizona.

Prairie Dog Towns Among Northern Arizona Roadside Attractions

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.

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This attractive pink-tinged prickly pear cactus blooms at the end of April in Sedona, Arizona.

The Other Famous Cactus of Arizona — The Prickly Pear

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.

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The turquoise blue male mountain bluebird is a common sight in parts of Northern Arizona.

Mountain Bluebirds, Bright Jewels in Sedona and Northern Arizona

Mountain bluebirds are often seen at the higher elevations in Northern Arizona, while Western bluebirds are more commonly seen in Sedona. Mountain bluebirds take readily to properly designed, well placed nestboxes. The male is bright turquoise blue while the female is dull and better camouflaged for protection during the nesting season.

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