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.
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.
Arizona is the state with the second most hummingbird species in the U.S. Those who maintain hummingbird feeders in Sedona are amply rewarded with dawn to dusk visits by these tiny, jewel-like birds. They compete fiercely for a spot on the feeder, buzzing back and forth, constantly scolding each other, then giving in for a long sip of sugar water.
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.
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?
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...
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