Of all the magnificent birds associated with the desert Southwest, the Common Raven gets short shrift in the publicity department. Compared to the California condor, poster-bird for late 20th century conservation efforts, the quirky roadrunner immortalized by Saturday morning cartoons, or even the roly-poly quail that putter around every backyard from Tucson to Sedona, the raven barely gets a nod as having a place in Arizona's natural and cultural landscape.
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 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...
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.
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.
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.
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