There 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.
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 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.
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...
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.
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.