Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Local Wildlife

There is plenty of wildlife out here in Sedona, although much of it keeps to itself during the day. We've seen coyotes, jack rabbits and deer but I thought I'd post a few photos of other critters that I, or our guests, took.

This is a photo of a Gambel Quail that Peggy Wilfong took one morning. We have a covey of quail walking around the yard every day and she chased this one down the street in her PJs to get a good picture. They come through in the morning and afternoon scrounging for seeds and leaves falling off the trees.

While on a hike near the Sacred Pools on Soldier's Pass trail with the Nobles (Mike, Pam, Matt and Emily), we heard a fairly loud noise that sounded like a sheep or goat. It was some kind of critter. We decided to investigate. As we got closer to the pools, the noise increased but as we passed the pool, it decreased. So, it had to be coming from the pool. The light wasn't great but we finally made out the source of the racket. Pam took some pictures and Matt is trying to use the noise as his ring tone. Not sure what type of frog it is, but it was noisy.

One day on one of our Jeep rides to Sycamore Canyon, we noticed what appeared to be a dead steer and a dead calf off the trail. A week or so later, we went through the same area and the steer was still there but the calf was gone. We figured the calf was either alive and kicking or was dead and dragged off by coyotes. A few weeks later we drove through again and decided to check out the steer a bit more. There is not much left after the birds and animals were through with it.

However, fear not, there are a lot of healthy steers and calves out on the range. This is the calving season in the spring, so there are plenty of them out there roaming around with their moms. I think all the calves we have seen were black. They must take after their old man.

Here is a photo of a great blue heron that Pam took on our latest excursion in a raft down the Colorado near the Glen Canyon dam. I'll post something about that trip later. There were 6 or more herons on a couple of trees along the banks of the Colorado as it cut its way through Glen Canyon. There were several nests which accomodated a number of off-spring

This is also the time when the snakes start to come out to warm themselves. This gopher snake was stretched across the road on one of our back woods trails. It was very sluggish and we couldn't get it to move off the road. It covered the whole road so I didn't want to run over it. We tossed a few small rocks at it and it finally started to slowly slither off into the brush. This photo doesn't really show it, but others show clear bulges in several places in the snake. We think it was in the process of digesting its lunch.

Lastly, we are seeing more lizards now. We have a few living under the back steps that scamper around but we see bigger ones out on the trails. The photo below is a Black-Collared lizard that we saw on a hike with the Sullivans and Nobles. It was sunning itself on the red rock. According to our Audubon Guide book this one grows to 6-13" long. So, if that includes the tail, this one is full grown.


  1. Interesting wildlife. Show more, please.

    Guess the Great Blues must hang out all over the country. There's a big rookery near here in Norfolk.

    Do the quail make noise as they hang out in your yard?

  2. Tony,
    I think the Sacred Pools critter is a Canyon Tree Frog. White belly, yellow markings under the arms, and a huge voice for such a tiny creature!