The natural environment of the Verde Valley is perhaps the most outstanding of its many attractions. We are blessed with pleasant climate, open spaces, diverse vegetation and wildlife, and the Verde River with its abundant riparian community. All these natural attractions, and the fact that we are on a major migratory flyway, bring us a multitude of birding and wildlife watching opportunities. The area boasts upwards to 350 species of birds. While we are blessed to have a variety of “resident” desert birds year long, we receive an abundance of migratory birds nesting and feeding along the riparian corridors and waterways in the area. The Nature and Bird Festival is held annually in Dead Horse State Park and attracts visitors from all over the world.
The area surrounding Sedona is loaded with “hot spots” including IBAs (Important Bird Area) designated by the Audubon Society. Included are Dead Horse State Park, Page Springs Fish Hatchery and Bubbling Ponds and other points along the Verde River and Oak Creek.
Depending on where we go and what time of year, we are always blessed with a variety of good birds. Desert birds exclusive to the area include Abert’s Towhee, Gila Woodpecker, Phainopepla and Verdin. The sharp Bridled Titmouse is a bird some folks travel a great distance just to see and we are lucky to enjoy year round.
Spring and Summer brings us exotic migrants from Mexico and Central America like orioles, tanagers, warblers, buntings and the Vermillion Flycatcher. Winter months we are blessed with an abundance or waterfowl and sparrows.
Raptors abound in the area. We enjoy eagles, hawks, falcons and accipiters. Summer months bring the arrival of the Common Black Hawk and Zone-Tailed Hawk which are only seen in this part of the United States.
Lisa Grubbs is a member of the Northern Arizona Audubon Society. Certified as a Nature Guide through the Verde River Valley Nature Organization Nature Guide Academy. She leads field trips for Audubon throughout the year as well as for the bird festival in April. Privately for individuals and small groups. Half-day $250.