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.
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?
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.
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.