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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.

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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Hummingbirds in Sedona, Arizona.

Hummingbirds — Tiny Wonders in Sedona Arizona

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.

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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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Sedona Birding: Ladder-Backed Woodpecker at Bell Rock Pathway

Ladder-back WoodpeckerThere 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.

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