Jeff Goulden Sonoran Desert Pictures, Images and Stock Photos

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The House Sparrow (Passer domesticus) is a common bird, found in most parts of the world. Females and young birds are colored pale brown and grey, and males have bright black, white, and brown markings. The house sparrow is native to most of Europe, the Mediterranean region, and much of Asia. It has been introduced to many parts of the world, including Australia, Africa, and the Americas, making it the most widely distributed wild bird. This male was photographed while perched on a saguaro cactus in Phoenix, Arizona, USA.

Oak Creek is a tributary of the Verde River in Northern Arizona. It is a perennial stream that originates below the Mogollon Rim of the Colorado Plateau. The headwaters of the creek are at the confluence of Sterling Springs and Pumphouse Wash. Oak Creek generally flows south, dropping 2500 feet in elevation, and joins the Verde River southeast of the town of Cottonwood. Along its watercourse, Oak Creek nurtures a lush riparian habitat through an otherwise arid environment. This scene of fall foliage along Oak Creek was photographed from the Kingfisher Bridge in Red Rock State Park near Sedona, Arizona, USA.

The Verde Valley (Spanish: Valle Verde or Green Valley) is a lush valley in central Arizona and one of a few riparian habitats in the state. The Verde River runs through the valley and is joined by Oak Creek, Beaver Creek and West Clear Creek. The Verde River is one of the state’s remaining free-flowing river systems and provides critical habitat for fish and wildlife. The valley is bounded by the Mogollon Rim to the north and Mingus Mountain to the south. The Verde Valley includes about 714 square miles in the center of Arizona and is about 100 miles north of the Phoenix metropolitan area. The valley is also noted for its many red rock formations. This fall colored scene of the Verde Valley, Mogollon Rim and Cathedral Rocks was photographed from the Eagle’s Nest Trail near Oak Creek in Red Rock State Park near Sedona, Arizona, USA.

The cactus wren (Campylorhynchus brunneicapillus) is the state bird of Arizona. This species of wren is native to the southwestern United States southwards to central Mexico. This wren was photographed perched on a saguaro cactus in the mountains near Tucson, Arizona, USA.

The cactus wren (Campylorhynchus brunneicapillus) is the state bird of Arizona. This species of wren is native to the southwestern United States southwards to central Mexico. This wren was photographed perched on a saguaro cactus in the mountains near Tucson, Arizona, USA.

Most members of the tyrant flycatcher family are drab in color. The male Vermilion Flycatcher (Pyrocephalus rubinus), with its dark wing feathers and brilliant red head and body, is a notable exception. This flycatcher is fairly common in parts of the Southwest USA as well as Central and South America. Its habitat includes grassland or desert with scattered trees but is more frequently near water. The diet of the vermilion flycatcher is exclusively insects which are mostly caught in the air but they may also hover and drop to the ground for small prey. This male vermilion flycatcher was photographed at John F. Kennedy Lake in Tucson, Arizona, USA.

The Northern Harrier or Marsh Hawk (Circus cyaneus) is a migratory bird of prey that breeds in the northern hemisphere and winters in the southernmost USA, Mexico and Central America. It hunts by swooping low and following the contours of the land. Its prey consists of mice, snakes, insects and small birds. This female was found in Whitewater Draw Wildlife Area near McNeal, Arizona, USA.

The Saguaro Cactus (Carnegiea gigantea) is one of the iconic plants of the Sonoran Desert in Southern Arizona and Western Sonora, Mexico. These plants are large cacti that develop branches as they grow and mature. The branches generally bend upward but not always. The fluted trunks and branches of the saguaro are covered with protective spines. In the late spring the plant develops white flowers and red fruit forms in the summer. Saguaros are found only in the Sonoran Desert. To thrive they need water and the correct temperature. At higher elevations, the cold weather and frost can kill the saguaro. The Sonoran Desert experiences monsoon rains during July and August. This is when the saguaro obtains the moisture it needs to survive and thrive. These saguaro cacti were found in Catalina State Park near Tucson, Arizona, USA.

The Sandhill Crane (Antigone canadensis) is a North American species of large crane. It also inhabits the northeastern part of Siberia. The name of this bird comes from a habitat like that of the Nebraska Sandhills on the American Plains. These sandhill cranes were photographed at the Whitewater Draw Wildlife Area where as many as 30,000 cranes spend the winter. The Whitewater Draw Wildlife Area is near McNeal, Arizona, USA.

The Prickly Pear cactus is tolerant of many different soils and climates. It exists all over the Southwest from the hot dry Sonoran desert to the pine forests of Northern Arizona. These prickly pear cacti were photographed alongside the Bell Trail in the Coconino National Forest near Camp Verde, Arizona, USA.

The Rosy-Faced Lovebird (Agapornis roseicollis) is a small member of the parrot family that is often bred in captivity and are kept as pets. They were first reported as breeding near Apache Junction and Mesa City, Arizona in 1987 and have been breeding in feral flocks since then in the greater Phoenix area. During the past 25 years, the lovebird population has been reported breeding in residential neighborhoods and has actually expanded in range and increased in numbers. The lovebird is native to dry wooded country in southwestern Africa and is generally found in Angola, Namibia and South Africa. Exotic species of birds that escape captivity normally do not survive long in a non-native habitat. This rosy-faced lovebird pair was photographed while perched on a saguaro cactus in the Robinhood Acres neighborhood of Phoenix, Arizona, USA.

The historic Bell Trail was built in the rugged canyon of Wet Beaver Creek in 1932. Wet Beaver Creek is in Yavapai County near Camp Verde, Arizona, USA. Rancher Charles Bell needed the trail to move his cattle up and down the Mogollon Rim. Today, the Bell Trail is used mainly for recreational purposes. The "Crack" on Wet Beaver Creek is a fault in the sandstone that has become a popular hiking destination and swimming hole.

The Redhead (Aythya americana), also known as a pochard, is a medium-sized diving duck. Their legs are farther back on the body, which makes it difficult to walk on land but they have larger webbing on their feet and a broader bill which makes them especially adapted to foraging underwater. During the breeding season, adult males have a copper head and a black breast. The back and sides are grey with a white belly and light black rump and tail. The male bill is pale blue with a black tip. The females are light brown with a white ring around the eye. Their bill is dark gray with a black tip. Redheads breed across a wide range of North America from Northern Canada to the Southern United States. In the winter they migrate south to warmer climates. Their favored habitat is wetlands in non-forested areas. In the winter the redheads prefer protected coastal areas. During the breeding season their diet includes gastropods, mollusks and larvae and occasionally grass and other vegetation. In the winter the redhead eats mainly plant material. This male redhead was photographed while swimming in John F. Kennedy Lake in Tucson, Arizona, USA.

The cactus wren (Campylorhynchus brunneicapillus) is the state bird of Arizona. This species of wren is native to the southwestern United States southwards to central Mexico. This wren was photographed perched on a saguaro cactus in the mountains near Tucson, Arizona, USA.

The Saguaro Cactus (Carnegiea gigantea) is one of the iconic plants of the Sonoran Desert in Southern Arizona and Western Sonora, Mexico. These plants are large cacti that develop branches as they grow and mature. The branches generally bend upward but not always. The fluted trunks and branches of the saguaro are covered with protective spines. In the late spring the plant develops white flowers and red fruit forms in the summer. Saguaros are found only in the Sonoran Desert. To thrive they need water and the correct temperature. At higher elevations, the cold weather and frost can kill the saguaro. The Sonoran Desert experiences monsoon rains during July and August. This is when the saguaro obtains the moisture it needs to survive and thrive. These saguaro were found in Saguaro National Park near Tucson, Arizona, USA.

The Saguaro Cactus (Carnegiea gigantea) is one of the iconic plants of the Sonoran Desert in Southern Arizona and Western Sonora, Mexico. These plants are large cacti that develop branches as they grow and mature. The branches generally bend upward but not always. The fluted trunks and branches of the saguaro are covered with protective spines. In the late spring the plant develops white flowers and red fruit forms in the summer. Saguaros are found only in the Sonoran Desert. To thrive they need water and the correct temperature. At higher elevations, the cold weather and frost can kill the saguaro. The Sonoran Desert experiences monsoon rains during July and August. This is when the saguaro obtains the moisture it needs to survive and thrive. These saguaro cacti were found in Catalina State Park near Tucson, Arizona, USA.

The Verde Valley (Spanish: Valle Verde or Green Valley) is a lush valley in central Arizona and one of a few riparian habitats in the state. The Verde River runs through the valley and is joined by Oak Creek, Beaver Creek and West Clear Creek. The Verde River is one of the state’s remaining free-flowing river systems and provides critical habitat for fish and wildlife. The valley is bounded by the Mogollon Rim to the north and Mingus Mountain to the south. The Verde Valley includes about 714 square miles in the center of Arizona and is about 100 miles north of the Phoenix metropolitan area. The valley is also noted for its many red rock formations. This fall colored scene of the Verde Valley, Mogollon Rim and Cathedral Rocks was photographed from the Eagle’s Nest Trail near Oak Creek in Red Rock State Park near Sedona, Arizona, USA.

The Gila Woodpecker (Melanerpes uropygialis) is a medium-sized woodpecker living in the low scrubby areas of the Sonoran Desert of the American Southwest. They range throughout southeastern California, southern Nevada, Arizona, and New Mexico. The Gila Woodpecker typically builds its nest in holes made in saguaro cactus or mesquite trees. This male woodpecker was photographed while clinging to a saguaro cactus in Phoenix, Arizona, USA.

The Saguaro Cactus (Carnegiea Gigantea) is one of the iconic plants of the Sonoran Desert in Southern Arizona and Western Sonora, Mexico. These plants are large cacti that develop branches as they grow and mature. The branches generally bend upward but not always. The fluted trunks and branches of the saguaro are covered with protective spines. In the late spring the plant develops white flowers and red fruit forms in the summer. Saguaros are found only in the Sonoran Desert. To thrive they need water and the correct temperature. At higher elevations, the cold weather and frost can kill the saguaro. The Sonoran Desert experiences monsoon rains during July and August. This is when the saguaro obtains the moisture it needs to survive and thrive. These saguaro were found at Gates Pass in Saguaro National Park near Tucson, Arizona, USA.

The American Southwest has some amazing landscapes, especially the rock formations. In the late evening, as the sun sets, the red rocks take on an even more colorful glow. This view of Capitol Butte and the town was taken from Airport Mesa in Sedona, Arizona, USA.

The coyote (Canis latrans), often mistaken for a domestic dog, inhabits most of North America from eastern Alaska to New England and south into Mexico and Panama. Coyotes are very adaptable to their habitat. In the Sonoran Desert, coyotes can be found in all habitats from desert scrub, grasslands, foothills as well as in populated neighborhoods. In the Sonoran Desert, depending on the season, coyotes will eat just about anything, including cactus fruit, mesquite beans, flowers, insects, rodents, lizards, rabbits, birds, and snakes. When hunting small animals, coyotes will hunt alone, stalking their prey and then pouncing. For larger animals, like deer, they will hunt in small packs and work together to kill the prey. This coyote was photographed in Tucson Mountain Park near Tucson, Arizona, USA.

The Saguaro Cactus (Carnegiea gigantea) is one of the iconic plants of the Sonoran Desert in Southern Arizona and Western Sonora, Mexico. These plants are large cacti that develop branches as they grow and mature. The branches generally bend upward but not always. The fluted trunks and branches of the saguaro are covered with protective spines. In the late spring the plant develops white flowers and red fruit forms in the summer. Saguaros are found only in the Sonoran Desert. To thrive they need water and the correct temperature. At higher elevations, the cold weather and frost can kill the saguaro. The Sonoran Desert experiences monsoon rains during July and August. This is when the saguaro obtains the moisture it needs to survive and thrive. This dead saguaro was still standing at McDowell Mountain Regional Park near Scottsdale, Arizona, USA.

The Gila Woodpecker (Melanerpes uropygialis) is a medium-sized woodpecker living in the low scrubby areas of the Sonoran Desert of the American Southwest. They range throughout southeastern California, southern Nevada, Arizona, and New Mexico. The Gila Woodpecker typically builds its nest in holes made in saguaro cactus or mesquite trees. This woodpecker was photographed in Green Valley, Arizona, USA.

Sabino Canyon is a desert canyon in the mountains of Southern Arizona and a popular hiking destination. Sabino Creek flows down the canyon. Sabino Canyon began with the formation of the Santa Catalina Mountains over 12 million years ago. The present-day varieties of plant life began appearing between 6,000 and 8,000 years ago. The earliest human occupants of the area were the Native American Hohokam people. In 1905, Sabino Canyon was placed under the control of the United States Forest Service. This view of a Giant Saguaro forest was photographed from the Esperero Trail. Sabino Canyon is in the Coronado National Forest near Tucson, Arizona, USA.

The Saguaro Cactus (Carnegiea gigantea) is one of the iconic plants of the Sonoran Desert in Southern Arizona and Western Sonora, Mexico. These plants are large cacti that develop branches as they grow and mature. The branches generally bend upward but not always. The fluted trunks and branches of the saguaro are covered with protective spines. In the late spring the plant develops white flowers and red fruit forms in the summer. Saguaros are found only in the Sonoran Desert. To thrive they need water and the correct temperature. At higher elevations, the cold weather and frost can kill the saguaro. The Sonoran Desert experiences monsoon rains during July and August. This is when the saguaro obtains the moisture it needs to survive and thrive. These saguaro cacti were found in Catalina State Park near Tucson, Arizona, USA.

Camelback Mountain is a prominent feature of the Sonoran Desert in southern Arizona. It is part of the McDowell Mountain Range and is composed primarily of Precambrian granite. The mountain has been weathered by rain, wind and other forces of nature over millions of years. This erosion has given the mountain a distinctive hump-back “camel” shape thus leading to its name. The area around Camelback Mountain is home to a variety of cacti, including saguaros, as well as a range of other desert plants and animals, such as jackrabbits, rattlesnakes, and Gila monsters. The mountain's summit provides a critical habitat for a number of bird species, including hawks, vultures, and eagles. This view of the surrounding area was photographed from the Echo Canyon trail on Camelback Mountain near Phoenix, Arizona, USA.

Greater Sedona and the Verde Valley are areas of uncommon beauty and diversity in the desert of Northern Arizona. It is known for its wide-open vistas, red-rock buttes, steep wooded canyons, pine forests and riparian corridors. Nearby Oak Creek, West Fork and the Verde River provide cool green shade in the spring and summer and a kaleidoscope of color in the fall. Much of this region is within the Coconino National Forest which includes several designated national wilderness areas. This scene of Capitol Butte and contrasting green trees was photographed from Airport Mesa near Sedona, Arizona, USA.

Fay Canyon, in the Red Rock-Secret Mountain Wilderness, is a one-and-a-half-mile box canyon containing many unusual red rock formations, a natural arch, a seasonal stream, and a variety of desert plants typical of the lower elevations around the Verde Valley. Fay Canyon is part of the Coconino National Forest near Sedona, Arizona, USA.

Fay Canyon, in the Red Rock-Secret Mountain Wilderness, is a one-and-a-half-mile box canyon containing many unusual red rock formations, a natural arch, a seasonal stream, and a variety of desert plants typical of the lower elevations around the Verde Valley. Fay Canyon is part of the Coconino National Forest near Sedona, Arizona, USA.

Sabino Canyon is a desert canyon in the mountains of Southern Arizona and a popular hiking destination. Sabino Creek flows down the canyon. Sabino Canyon began with the formation of the Santa Catalina Mountains over 12 million years ago. The present-day varieties of plant life began appearing between 6,000 and 8,000 years ago. The earliest human occupants of the area were the Native American Hohokam people. In 1905, Sabino Canyon was placed under the control of the United States Forest Service. This view of a Giant Saguaro forest was photographed from the Esperero Trail. Sabino Canyon is in the Coronado National Forest near Tucson, Arizona, USA.

The Verde Valley (Spanish: Valle Verde or Green Valley) is a lush valley in central Arizona and one of a few riparian habitats in the state. The Verde River runs through the valley and is joined by Oak Creek, Beaver Creek and West Clear Creek. The Verde River is one of the state’s remaining free-flowing river systems and provides critical habitat for fish and wildlife. The valley is bounded by the Mogollon Rim to the north and Mingus Mountain to the south. The Verde Valley includes about 714 square miles in the center of Arizona and is about 100 miles north of the Phoenix metropolitan area. The valley is also noted for its many red rock formations. This fall colored scene of the Verde Valley was photographed from the Kisva Trail by Oak Creek in Red Rock State Park near Sedona, Arizona, USA.

In 1923, Flagstaff photographer Carl Mayhew purchased a cabin and property on the banks of West Fork of Oak Creek. Mayhew added on to the cabin and in 1926 opened Mayhew Lodge for guests. The resort gained a national and international reputation and had many famous guests including President Herbert Hoover, Jimmy Stewart, Walt Disney and Clark Gable. The Mayhew family operated the lodge through 1968. In 1975 the lodge was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Unfortunately, the lodge was destroyed by fire in 1980 and was delisted. Mayhew Lodge is in Oak Creek Canyon near Sedona, Arizona, USA.

The Northern Harrier or Marsh Hawk (Circus cyaneus) is a migratory bird of prey that breeds in the northern hemisphere and winters in the southernmost USA, Mexico and Central America. It hunts by swooping low and following the contours of the land. Its prey consists of mice, snakes, insects and small birds. This female was found in Whitewater Draw Wildlife Area near McNeal, Arizona, USA.

The Curve-Billed Thrasher (Toxostoma curvirostre) is a medium sized songbird that is native to the southwestern United States and much of Mexico. It is a non-migratory species living primarily in the desert environment. This bird was photographed in a desert area in Green Valley, Arizona, USA.

The Rosy-Faced Lovebird (Agapornis roseicollis) is a small member of the parrot family that is often bred in captivity and are kept as pets. They were first reported as breeding near Apache Junction and Mesa City, Arizona in 1987 and have been breeding in feral flocks since then in the greater Phoenix area. During the past 25 years, the lovebird population has been reported breeding in residential neighborhoods and has actually expanded in range and increased in numbers. The lovebird is native to dry wooded country in southwestern Africa and is generally found in Angola, Namibia and South Africa. Exotic species of birds that escape captivity normally do not survive long in a non-native habitat. This rosy-faced lovebird was photographed while perched on a saguaro cactus in the Robinhood Acres neighborhood of Phoenix, Arizona, USA.

The coyote (Canis latrans), often mistaken for a domestic dog, inhabits most of North America from eastern Alaska to New England and south into Mexico and Panama. Coyotes are very adaptable to their habitat. In the Sonoran Desert, coyotes can be found in all habitats from desert scrub, grasslands, foothills as well as in populated neighborhoods. In the Sonoran Desert, depending on the season, coyotes will eat just about anything, including cactus fruit, mesquite beans, flowers, insects, rodents, lizards, rabbits, birds, and snakes. When hunting small animals, coyotes will hunt alone, stalking their prey and then pouncing. For larger animals, like deer, they will hunt in small packs and work together to kill the prey. This coyote was photographed in Tucson Mountain Park near Tucson, Arizona, USA.

The White-Winged Dove (Zenaida asiatica) is a large dove native to the Southwestern United States, Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean. They are brownish-gray with a distinctive blue eye ring, red eyes and a white edge on their wings. This dove lives in a variety of habits, including urban settings, desert and scrub. The saguaro cactus provides a vital source of food and water for the white-winged dove. Its diet is also made up of grains, pollen and nectar. This white-winged dove was photographed while foraging for food in a saguaro cactus in Phoenix, Arizona, USA.

The Santa Catalina Mountains formed about 20 million years ago when tremendous heat and pressure from volcanoes caused this flat land to buckle and arch. This photograph of Sutherland Wash and the Santa Catalina Mountains was taken at Catalina State Park near Oro Valley, Arizona, USA.

The Santa Catalina Mountains formed about 20 million years ago when tremendous heat and pressure from volcanoes caused this flat land to buckle and arch. This photograph of Sutherland Wash and the Santa Catalina Mountains was taken at Catalina State Park near Oro Valley, Arizona, USA.

The Gila Woodpecker (Melanerpes uropygialis) is a medium-sized woodpecker living in the low scrubby areas of the Sonoran Desert of the American Southwest. They range throughout southeastern California, southern Nevada, Arizona, and New Mexico. The Gila Woodpecker typically builds its nest in holes made in saguaro cactus or mesquite trees. This woodpecker was photographed in Green Valley, Arizona, USA.

The Anna's Hummingbird (Calypte anna) is a small hummingbird, about 3 inches in length with a long, straight and very slender bill. They use their bills to feed mainly on plant nectar but will also eat small insects. These birds are known for their incredible flight skills. Some will fly 2,000 miles between their breeding ground and their winter home. Not known to rest for very long, this female was photographed while perched on a branch in Scottsdale, Arizona, USA.

Cathedral Rock is one of the most iconic landmarks in Arizona. It is a natural sandstone butte made up of several discreet columns. It is prominent on the Sedona skyline and one of the most-photographed rock formations in Arizona. Cathedral Rock is located in Yavapai County within the Coconino National Forest. Cathedral Rock sits at an elevation of 4,967 feet. In geological terms Cathedral Rock is carved from the Permian Schnebly Hill formation which is a red sandstone from coastal dunes near the shoreline of the ancient Pedregosa Sea. This view of Cathedral Rock was photographed from Back O Beyond Road in the Village of Oak Creek, Arizona, USA.

Spring-fed Copper Falls is a rarity in the mostly arid semi-desert of Northern Arizona. The falls begin where Copper Canyon dead-ends at a narrow gorge. After tumbling down the cascades and block shelves, it spawns an ephemeral creek that soon disappears downstream among boulders, willows, downed logs and sycamores. Copper Falls is in the Prescott National Forest near Camp Verde, Arizona, USA.

Landslides occur when a slope, or a portion of it, undergoes some processes that make it unstable. This decreases the shear strength of the slope material, causing gravity to carry the material downhill. A landslide may be caused by excess water, earthquakes, or any combination of other factors acting together or alone. The landslide in the far left of the picture and the resulting chasm were photographed from the Copper Canyon Trail in the Prescott National Forest near Camp Verde, Arizona, USA.

Sabino Canyon is a desert canyon in the mountains of Southern Arizona and a popular hiking destination. Sabino Creek flows down the canyon. Sabino Canyon began with the formation of the Santa Catalina Mountains over 12 million years ago. The present-day varieties of plant life began appearing between 6,000 and 8,000 years ago. The earliest human occupants of the area were the Native American Hohokam people. In 1905, Sabino Canyon was placed under the control of the United States Forest Service. This view of a Giant Saguaro forest was photographed from the Esperero Trail. Sabino Canyon is in the Coronado National Forest near Tucson, Arizona, USA.

In the 1930's the owners of Crescent Moon Ranch installed a water wheel in their irrigation ditch. Falling water spun the wheel, driving a water pump and an electric generator. This system pumped water to storage tanks and brough power to the ranch. Crescent Moon Ranch is in the Coconino National Forest near Sedona, Arizona, USA.

The coyote (Canis latrans), often mistaken for a domestic dog, inhabits most of North America from eastern Alaska to New England and south into Mexico and Panama. Coyotes are very adaptable to their habitat. In the Sonoran Desert, coyotes can be found in all habitats from desert scrub, grasslands, foothills as well as in populated neighborhoods. In the Sonoran Desert, depending on the season, coyotes will eat just about anything, including cactus fruit, mesquite beans, flowers, insects, rodents, lizards, rabbits, birds, and snakes. When hunting small animals, coyotes will hunt alone, stalking their prey and then pouncing. For larger animals, like deer, they will hunt in small packs and work together to kill the prey. This coyote was photographed in Tucson Mountain Park near Tucson, Arizona, USA.

The Verde Valley (Spanish: Valle Verde or Green Valley) is a lush valley in central Arizona and one of a few riparian habitats in the state. The Verde River runs through the valley and is joined by Oak Creek, Beaver Creek and West Clear Creek. The Verde River is one of the state’s remaining free-flowing river systems and provides critical habitat for fish and wildlife. The valley is bounded by the Mogollon Rim to the north and Mingus Mountain to the south. The Verde Valley includes about 714 square miles in the center of Arizona and is about 100 miles north of the Phoenix metropolitan area. The valley is also noted for its many red rock formations. This fall colored scene of the Verde Valley was photographed from the Eagle’s Nest Trail near Oak Creek in Red Rock State Park near Sedona, Arizona, USA.

The Northern Harrier or Marsh Hawk (Circus cyaneus) is a migratory bird of prey that breeds in the northern hemisphere and winters in the southernmost USA, Mexico and Central America. It hunts by swooping low and following the contours of the land. Its prey consists of mice, snakes, insects and small birds. This female was found in Whitewater Draw Wildlife Area near McNeal, Arizona, USA.

Greater Sedona and the Verde Valley are areas of uncommon beauty and diversity in the desert of Northern Arizona. It is known for its wide-open vistas, red-rock buttes, steep wooded canyons, pine forests and riparian corridors. Nearby Oak Creek, West Fork and the Verde River provide cool green shade in the spring and summer and a kaleidoscope of color in the fall. Much of this region is within the Coconino National Forest which includes several designated national wilderness areas. This scene of modern pueblo development near red rock and contrasting green trees was photographed at Boynton Canyon in the Red Rock Secret Mountain Wilderness near Sedona, Arizona, USA.

Fay Canyon, in the Red Rock-Secret Mountain Wilderness, is a one-and-a-half-mile box canyon containing many unusual red rock formations, a natural arch, a seasonal stream, and a variety of desert plants typical of the lower elevations around the Verde Valley. Fay Canyon is part of the Coconino National Forest near Sedona, Arizona, USA.

Table Mesa or Table Mountain is a prominent natural landmark of Maricopa County in the Tonto National Forest. It is characterized by rugged terrain and offers stunning views of the surrounding Sonoran Desert landscape, featuring the saguaro cactus and unique rock formations. This view of Table Mesa was photographed near New River, Arizona, USA.

Gambel's Quail (Callipepla gambelii) is a small North American ground-dwelling bird that inhabits the desert regions of the American southwest and Mexican northwest. The Gambel's quail is named for William Gambel, a 19th-century explorer and naturalist in the southwest. They are easily recognized by their top knots and scaly looking plumage. Gambel's quail have bluish-gray plumage on much of their bodies. The males have chocolate colored feathers on the top of their heads, with black faces, and white stripes above the eye. Their diet is primarily made up of plant matter and seeds. The Gambel's quail is able to fly but generally does so only for short distances. They don’t migrate. They primarily move about by walking and can move very fast through the brush. They are a non-migratory species and are rarely seen in flight. Any flight is usually short and explosive, with many rapid wingbeats, followed by a slow glide to the ground. In the late summer, fall, and winter, adults as well as the young gather into large coveys. In the spring they pair off for mating. The nest is a shallow scrape concealed in vegetation. The female lays 10-12 eggs which she incubates for 21-23 days. The chicks follow the adults out of the nest within hours of hatching. This Gambel’s quail was photographed in Green Valley, Arizona, USA.

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