Wildlife of the Coconino National Forest

Updated on July 15, 2019
Ramkitten2000 profile image

I've lived in Flagstaff, AZ, since 2003, where I'm an active member of the Coconino County Sheriff's Search & Rescue team and an avid hiker.

Coconino National Forest and the San Francisco Peaks
Coconino National Forest and the San Francisco Peaks

Northern Arizona -- A Land of Diversity

If you're ever in my neck of the woods here in Northern Arizona, I encourage you to explore the many wonders of the Coconino National Forest.

At 1.8 million acres with an elevation span of 10,000 feet, the Coconino is one of the most diverse National Forests in the country. Its vistas range from cactus-filled canyons to rolling grassland and snow-capped peaks.

Why not enjoy at least a day exploring the desert red rocks of Sedona, then drive an hour "uphill" to spend the night in Flagstaff, where you can start out bright and early for a hike to the 12,633-foot summit of Mt. Humphreys and experience the alpine tundra.

The wildlife of the Coconino National Forest, dominated by the majestic Ponderosa pine, is as diverse as the scenery. Here, you can find more than a dozen species of bats, black-tailed jackrabbits and bark-eating porcupines. You'll hear coyotes yelping and elk bugling in the fall. The black bear and American bald eagle are also on the list, as are roadrunners and red-tailed hawks. And the list goes on and on.

To include all critters of the Coconino, great and small, fuzzy and feathered, would make for one extremely long article, so I've chosen from among my favorites for various reasons, including a few I'd prefer to view only from afar.

What Does "Coconino" Mean?

It's the word used by the Hopi for Havasupai and Yavapai Indians. The Coconino National Forest was so named because it is located in the center of Coconino County.


The Coconino National Forest is part of the largest contiguous ponderosa pine forest in the world.

Elk in Coconino National Forest
Elk in Coconino National Forest | Source


The largest member of the deer family in the Coconino...

...though I hardly think of deer when these big mamas and papas stroll by the house, as they've been doing on an almost daily basis lately.

Though I've never managed to lure one onto a scale, I've read that a bull can weigh up to 1,200 pounds, while they commonly range from 600 to 800 lbs. Mature cows range from 450 to 600 lbs. Appears to me that those frequenting my yard are in the upper limits.

At one time, elk were the most widely distributed member of the North American deer family, found everywhere except the Great Basin desert and the Southern coastal plains, with a population estimated at 10 million.

Elk withstood the impact of western settlement better than buffalo, because they inhabited more rugged terrain, but still their population hit a low of 90,000 in 1922, mostly attributable to hunting and agriculture. Of those 90,000 remaining, 40,000 were in Yellowstone Park, where the herds became a source for breeding stock.

Between 1912 and 1967, more than 13,500 elk were transplanted from the Park and, in 1913, 83 individuals were released in Cabin Draw near Arizona's Chevelon Creek. From those transplants, the state's elk population has grown to nearly 35,000 animals. Seems to me that 34,999 of them live in our back yard here at Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, though it's probably more like six to twelve.

It's not uncommon when visiting friends and family in the area to see an elk rack--or at least one antler--displayed somewhere in the house, as searching for sheds is a fairly popular pastime. The antler cast occurs from January to March for adult bulls and from March through May for sub-adults, with new growth occurring shortly after the cast. The growing period ranges from 90 days for yearlings to 150 days for adult bulls.

By early August, antler growth is complete. Then the velvet dries up and the antlers harden. The velvet is stripped off in a matter of hours, and the elk polishes its trophies against trees. By early September, the bull is nice and spiffy, all dressed up and ready for the rut.

Ever heard a bull elk bugle? It'll curl your toes in the dead of night.

Did you know?

Elk are natural-born triatheletes.

They can run up to 40mph for short periods and 30mph for much longer stretches.

They are great swimmers. Even young calves can elk-paddle for more than a mile.

And these big beasts can levitate up to 10 feet.

Bobcats live in Coconino National Forest
Bobcats live in Coconino National Forest | Source


Here, kitty, kitty!

I'd love to actually see a bobcat in the wild, but, so far, it's only their tracks that I've found, particularly easy to identify in the snow. Being about twice as big as a domestic house cat, bobcats are still small enough--weighing at most about 30 pounds--to make me hope to encounter one.

Bobcats are crepuscular (love that word), meaning they're generally most active at dusk and dawn. This behavior can change seasonally, as the cats become more diurnal during fall and winter, when their prey are more active during the day in colder months. While hunting, bobcats usually move from 2 to 7 miles along a regular route .

Though the Bobcat prefers to dine on rabbits and hares, it will eat anything from insects and small rodents to deer, with culinary selection depending on location, habitat, season, and availability.

To learn more about this evasive cat, visit The Lynx or Bobcat by "ArtByLinda."

Did you know?

Like all cats, the bobcat "directly registers," with its hind prints usually falling exactly on top of its fore prints.

Bobcat tracks can be distinguished from feral or house cat tracks by their larger size--approximately 2 square inches as compared to 1½ square inches for domestics.

There are mountain lions in Coconino National Forest
There are mountain lions in Coconino National Forest | Source

Mountain Lion

Shoo, kitty!

Until fairly recently, I had no idea there were mountain lions--a/k/a pumas or cougars --around Flagstaff. That is, until a friend of mine encountered one while horseback riding near Mt. Elden.

So I did a little research and learned that a mountain lion study had been initiated in 2003 by the U.S. Geological Survey. From then until 2006, they captured six female and five male mountain lions in the Flagstaff Uplands, 10 of which were fitted with collars that collected up to six GPS fixes per day, transmitted daily to their office via satellite. You can read details of the U.S.G.S. findings here. Suffice it to say, they're definitely eating well.

Despite their size, with males averaging between 115 and 160 pounds and females from 75 to 105 pounds, mountain lions aren't typically classified as "big cats," like lions and tigers, since they can't roar. These largest of the "small cats" (uh-huh) lack the specialized larynx and hyoid apparatus necessary to make such a sound. Like domestic cats, though, they make low-pitched hisses, growls and purrs, even chirps and whistles. And they're well known for their screams. JUST the thing I want to hear while hiking.

Another crepuscular hunter, the mountain lion stalks and ambushes its prey, generally eating any animal they can catch. Aside from humans, though, the adult cats have no natural predators of their own.

But mountain lion attacks on humans are rare, as prey recognition is a learned behavior and they don't generally recognize humans as such. (Yippee!) If one does happen to encounter a mountain lion, traditional advice is to exaggerate the threat through intense eye contact, loud but calm shouting, and any other action to appear larger and more menacing. Fighting back with sticks and rocks, or even bare hands, is said to often be effective in persuading an attacking cougar to retreat. For the most part, mountain lions avoid humans as much as possible.

Did you know?

The mountain lion holds the Guinness record for the animal with the most names, presumably due to its wide distribution across North and South America. It has over 40 names in English alone.

Jackrabbits are plentiful in Coconino National Forest
Jackrabbits are plentiful in Coconino National Forest

The Jackrabbit

One reason my dog stays on a leash...

...even where she doesn't legally have to. If my dog were untethered and saw a jackrabbit, she'd be off in a split-second, running her little buns off to try to catch it, and my husband and I would be running after her for who knows how long. Well, I do know how long; been there, done that, for the better part of an hour.

And these fast little, long-eared buggers are everywhere. If I don't see one of them on a particular day, I'll surely find tracks. And when I occasionally come across bobcat prints, jackrabbit prints are often close at hand, and I wonder if the two ever met.

The jackrabbit acquired its name from its 4- to five-inch ears, resembling those of a jackass. Unlike a true rabbit, however, jackrabbits don't burrow, so they're actually a hare.

In winter, the jackrabbit's diet consists mostly of bark and buds of bushes, while preferring tender grasses in summer. In very dry periods, it will eat cacti, which are plentiful in parts of its range.

The jackrabbit is a loner, with the exception of mating, of course, which occurs throughout the year. Gestation lasts about a month and a half, with litters of one to six. The young are born covered with fur and with their eyes open, ready to rock-n-roll . Like most hares, the female does not make a nest.

You can learn more about the jackrabbit's distant cousin, the Jackalope, here. (*wink*)

Did you know?

Jackrabbits can reach a speed of up to 40 miles (or 64 kilometers) per hour and leap as much as10 feet (3 meters). All the better to avoid a predator's sharp teeth.

Abert's Squirrel are all over the Coconino National Forest
Abert's Squirrel are all over the Coconino National Forest | Source

Abert's Squirrel

My favorite rodent

Though one of the most common critters of the Coconino National Forest, the Abert's squirrel is my favorite to watch, with its tassled ears, fluffy tail and fat, white belly. Playful and naughty rascals, they are, and usually busy during the day year-round, running from tree to tree and up the trunks, then jumping from branch to branch. If it's extremely cold, though, they may only venture out to look for food. At night, the squirrels sleep in their nests.

Today, my husband and I (and our leashed dog on point) watched an Abert's squirrel as it built a large nest, scolding us now and then for staring when its mouth wasn't full of building material. Nests are usually located in Ponderosa pines, twenty to forty feet above the ground and made with twigs and lined with grass, leaves, feathers, moss and pieces of bark.

Most of the Abert's squirrel's diet is made up of Ponderosa pine parts. During the warmer months, it eats the seeds and buds. In the winter, it dines on the inner bark. Occasionally, the Abert's squirrel eats mistletoe and fungi. Unlike other North American squirrels, the Abert's doesn't store food.

Did you know?

The Abert's squirrel is named after Colonel John James Abert, an American naturalist and military officer who headed the Corps of Topographical Engineers and organized the effort to map the American West in the 1800s.

The Raven of Coconino National Forest
The Raven of Coconino National Forest | Source

The Raven

The crow's first cousin

Or is this my favorite critter to watch? Well, it's a toss-up, I guess.

The raven is an intelligent and rather noisy opportunist, with an omnivorous diet that includes carrion, insects, cereal grains, berries, fruit and small animals. Oh, and Quarter-Pounders and fries too. An open trash bin is a raven's best friend, and they certainly aren't ones to tidy up when finished.

These playful birds have been seen glisading down snowbanks, seemingly just for fun, and even playing games with other species, like some catch-me-if-you-can with wolves and dogs (including my own). Common Ravens are known for amazing airborne acrobatics, like flying in loops, something I've witnessed many times at the Grand Canyon.

Ravens can mimic sounds from their environment, including human speech, and as many as 100 different vocalizations have been recorded. The raven's non-vocal sounds include wing whistles and bill snapping, clapping and clicking. If a member of a pair is lost, its mate will reproduce the calls of its lost partner to lure it home.

With the largest brain of any bird, ravens have an uncanny ability to problem-solve. One experiment designed to evaluate this skill involved a piece of meat attached to a string hanging from a perch. To reach the food, the bird needed to stand on the perch, pull the string up little by little, and step on the loops to gradually shorten the string. Four out of five Common Ravens succeeded, with no trial-and-error learning involved.

Common Ravens have been known to manipulate other animals into doing work for them, such as calling coyotes to the site of dead animals. The coyotes open the carcass, making it accessible to the birds. Kinda like getting one's spouse to carve a turkey.

Ravens also watch one another bury food and remember the locations of each other's caches, so they can steal. This type of theft occurs so often that ravens will fly extended distances from a food source to find better hiding places.They've also been observed pretending to make a cache without actually depositing the food, presumably to confuse any other ravens trying to sneak a peak.

Ravens are known to steal and stash shiny objects such as pebbles, pieces of metal, and golf balls, possibly to use to impress other ravens. Such vanity! I love it.

Did you know?

While young ravens travel in flocks, the adults mate for life, which is typically 10 to 15 years in the wild. Life spans of as much as forty years have been recorded.

Gray Fox in Coconino National Forest
Gray Fox in Coconino National Forest | Source

The Gray Fox

Or is it "grey"?

As far as I've read, the only place red foxes are found in Arizona is in the extreme northeast corner, so it's the gray (or grey?) fox we see here in the Coconino National Forest. And one shy little specimen makes its home close to ours here at the Observatory. We catch glimpses of him--or her?--from time to time when we get home late in the evening.

Gray foxes are omnivorous, feeding on both plant and animal. In the southwest, fruits are the most important part of their diet, followed by fresh deer carrion, gophers, small rodents, and even beetles and other arthropods. In Arizona, juniper berries are the most frequently eaten food in spring and summer.

Unlike their more vocal counterparts, the coyotes, gray foxes go about their nocturnal hunting very quietly. They do, however, vocalize with hoarse, loud barks when they are upset with intruders in their territories.

Did you know?

The gray fox is the only canid that regularly climbs, hunting and even sometimes sleeping in trees. They have been observed climbing vertical, limbless trunks up to 60 feet high.

Mule deer are abundant in Coconino National Forest
Mule deer are abundant in Coconino National Forest | Source

Mule Deer

There's not much cuter than a head-on shot.

And I'm not referring to a rifle ... though I've nothing against a venison burger now and then. As long as it has lots of catsup on it.

Obviously, though, the mule deer, as the jackrabbit, gets its name from its big ears. Unlike its smaller-eared cousin, the white-tail, the mule deer's tail is black-tipped. And its antlers "fork" as they grow, rather than branching from a single main beam, as with white-tails.

Like the elk, the mule deer's "rut" or mating season begins in the fall, when males become more aggressive as they compete for mates. They've even been known to take on humans over the cause, even if the human has no intentions of the sort.

Fawns are born in the spring, staying with their mothers during the summer and being weaned after about 60-75 days. A buck's antlers fall off during the winter, to grow again for the next season's rut.

Did you know?

Instead of running, mule deer leap with all four feet coming down together. This is also called stotting.

Rattlesnakes can be found in Coconino National Forest
Rattlesnakes can be found in Coconino National Forest | Source


Ooh, I get the heebie-jeebies just thinking about them.

But the rattlesnakes in these parts generally aren't aggressive, so if you keep your eyes and ears peeled in the brushy, desert areas, you should be able to avoid them, just as they prefer to avoid you.

Rattlesnakes frequently come out of the shadows early in the day or late afternoon to warm up by sunbathing on the warm rocks. During the heat of summer, they take cover under bushes or fallen trees, so be sure to look before sticking a hand or foot in any dark or hidden place.

One of the most common rattlers here in the Coconino National Forest is the Arizona Black Rattlesnake, with its habitat in the high elevation region, typically above 6,000 feet. Its black color is an adaption for absorbing heat.

When hiking, avoid wearing sandals and shorts. Wear long pants and leather hiking boots that cover the ankles.

For more information, check out The Rattlesnakes of Arizona, a very detailed article by James Q. Jacobs.

Did you know?

While most reptiles lay eggs, rattlesnakes are "live-bearers," like mammals. And they are the only known snakes that express maternal instincts, protecting their young from several hours to several weeks, until they do their first shedding.

A porcupine in Coconino National Forest
A porcupine in Coconino National Forest | Source


The rodent of 30,000 quills

I was walking home the other day, when I noticed the ground around the base of a Ponderosa littered with clumps of green pine needles on top of the snow. At first, I thought it was the work of a very hungry Abert's squirrel

But then I looked up and saw that a number of branches were stripped clean of bark and knew right away that a porcupine had been the culprit sometime during the night. You might not think they'd be such good climbers if you happen to see one slowly waddling along the ground, but porcupines are quite skilled with their long-clawed front feet and muscular tail for balance to get themselves up a tree to find food.

The porcupine is a vegetarian, with a diet that includes inner tree bark, twigs, buds, leaves, seeds, roots and berries. Young'ns can actually climb just hours after birth to have a snack. And porcupines are particularly fond of salt, which is one reason you might run into ... uh, see them on salted roads in the middle of the night.

Did you know?

Porcupines can't shoot their quills like darts.

Each mostly hollow quill contains a mild antibiotic, just in case the porcupine pokes itself.

Terantulas live in Coconino National Forest
Terantulas live in Coconino National Forest | Source


Remember that Brady Bunch episode?

No? Well, I do--the one where Greg wakes up to find one crawling up his chest. Ugh! Luckily, that hasn't happened to me yet, but if it does, you'll hear me scream all the way to my creepy-crawly-free home state of Rhode Island. Sure, there were the icky little spiders on the ceiling, which my father would promptly squish so I could go to sleep, but nothing like these hairy Arizona giants.

Yep, there are even tarantulas in Flagstaff, at 7,000 feet. As a matter of fact, my husband and I were hiking up on the peaks at at least 10,000 feet, when we came across a chilly, eight-legged lady on a shaded boulder. I nearly threw up when Steve picked her up and stroked her back. He's a crazy native, you see.

But as icky as they look (to me, anyway), I realize that these HUGE spiders are harmless to humans, except for a painful bite if you stick your finger in the right place and make them angry, and their mild venom is weaker than a typical bee's.

Tarantulas are slow movers but skilled nocturnal predators. Insects are their main food source, but they also target larger meals, including frogs, toads and mice, grabbing them with their "arms and legs" and injecting paralyzing venom. They also secrete digestive enzymes to liquefy their preys' bodies so they can suck them through their straw-like mouths. Mmm, milkshakes.

Did you know?

After a big meal, the tarantula may not need to eat for a month.

Javelina in Coconino National Forest
Javelina in Coconino National Forest | Source

Collared Javelina

They may look like wild pigs...

...but they're actually called peccaries, hoofed animals more closely related to hippos. Peccaries are omnivores and will eat small animals, though they prefer roots, grass, seeds and fruit.

One way to tell a pig from a peccary is the shape of the canine, or tusk. In pigs, the tusk is long and curves around on itself, while peccaries have short, straight tusks adapted for crushing hard seeds and slicing into plant roots. They also use their tusks for defense.

Generally, javelina are wary of people, but in a group, which is how they spend most of their time, they'll certainly attack a dog. On the other hand, mountain lions consider javelina to be a tasty treat.

Using washes and areas with dense vegetation as travel corridors, javelina are most active at night, but may be active during the day when it's cold.

The adults weigh between 40 and 60 pounds, with young born year-round but most often November through March. On average, javelina live 7.5 years.

Not long ago, my in-laws, who live in Sedona, Arizona, had at least 20 javelina in their garage. They'd forgotten to close the door one night--oops--so the group decided to help themselves to a large tub full of birdseed, then hung around to wait for more. In the morning, when the invasion was discovered, some banging of pots and pans quickly ushered the herd back outside.

To learn more about this adorable (*cough*) creature, visit Living With Javelina from the Arizona Game & Fish Department.

Did you know?

Javelina have very poor eyesight, sometimes making them appear to be charging when they're actually trying to escape.

A horned lizard in Coconino National Forest
A horned lizard in Coconino National Forest | Source

The Horny Toad

may look like a toad...

...but it's actually a lizard. The popular name comes from the lizard's rounded body and blunt snout, which make it resemble a toad or frog.

Some of the neatest aspects of horned lizards, or horny toads, are the ways they defend themselves from predators. Their coloration serves as camouflages, so the first thing they usually try when threatened is to remain still and hope to avoid detection. If that doesn't work, they'll try running in short bursts, stop abruptly to confuse the predator's visual acuity. Another trick in their grab bag is to puff themselves up in an attempt to look larger and more difficult to swallow. (Kinda like a frog in the throat ... but not.)

And this is really cool: at least four species are also able to squirt an aimed stream of blood from the corners of their eyes for a distance of up to 5 feet. This is done by restricting the blood flow from the head, increasing blood pressure and rupturing tiny vessels around the eyelids. Apparently, the blood tastes pretty gross to canine and feline predators, though it has no effect against predatory birds.

When it comes to feathered predators, horny toads will duck or elevate their head and orient their cranial horns straight up or back, to avoid being picked up by the head or neck. If a predator tries to grab the horny toad by the body, it'll drive that side of its body into the ground so the predator can't easily get its lower jaw underneath the lizard.

Why, those crafty horny toads!

When my parents first moved to Northern Arizona from Rhode Island, they noticed this strange little creature sunning itself on a railroad tie garden border near their front porch. They named him Elmo. Elmo would come out to say hello at least once a day for months and even returned the following spring, after burying himself (we assumed it was a he) to hibernate for the winter. One day, though, Elmo didn't return to his sunny spot on the railroad tie and was never seen again.

Did you know?

The spines on the horny toad's back and sides are actually made from modified scales, while the horns on the heads are indeed true horns.

Terantula wasps buzz around the Coconino National Forest
Terantula wasps buzz around the Coconino National Forest | Source

The Tarantula Wasp

may look scary...

...and they are! Figured I'd save the creepiest of the creepies for the last critter on my list. When I saw my first tarantula wasp--or tarantula "hawk"--I broke out in a cold sweat and swear I nearly passed out. I contemplated moving back to Rhode Island right then and there.

Up to two inches long with a blue-black body and bright rust-colored wings, tarantula hawks are among the largest of wasps. They use the hooked claws on the ends of their long legs to grab their victims, hunting tarantulas as food for their larvae. *Shudder*

Now, here's the really gross part. The tarantula wasp captures, stings, and paralyzes the spider, then they either drag the spider back into their own burrow or transport their prey to a specially prepared nest where a single egg is laid on the spider's body. Then the entrance to the prison cell is covered. Upon hatching, the wasp larva starts sucking the juices from the still-living spider. As the larva grows, it feeds on the tarantula, avoiding vital organs for as long as possible to keep it fresh. Finally, the adult wasp emerges from the nest to continue the life cycle.

Oatmeal, anyone?

Though my calm, cool and collected husband assured me these humungous wasps aren't aggressive, I've read that the sting is among the most painful of any insect. So I prefer to run, screaming, from the general vicinity when I see one.

To learn more about this hair-raising creature, visit the Tarantula Hawks page on DesertUSA.com.

Did you know?

Because of their extremely large stingers, very few animals are able to eat tarantula wasps, one of the few being the roadrunner. Meep-meep!

The rare felis hornicus in the Coconino National Forest
The rare felis hornicus in the Coconino National Forest | Source

The Ramkitten :)

The rarest Coconino County critter of them all....

In fact, the ramkitten (Felis hornicus) is even rarer than the jackalope. Once thought to be the result of a conjugal union between a hard-headed, hot-blooded ram and a curious and playful, underage cat, the ramkitten is actually a unique species unto itself. This creature is well adapted to many habitats and has been spotted in the tropics, the alpine tundra, the desert, deciduous forest, and Rhode Island. Often on the move, the ramkitten is difficult to locate, but can sometimes be enticed with its favorite foods, which include sushi, french fries and frozen yogurt.

Conifers of the Coconino National Forest

Engelmann spruce

Blue spruce

Corkbark fir

Subalpine fir

Bristle cone pine

White fir

Douglas fir

Southwestern white pine

Limber pine

Ponderosa pine

Pinyon pine

Single leaf pinyon pine

Utah juniper

Single seed ju

Grab a Map

I've used mine so much, it's coming apart at the seams.

Those Forest Service roads can--or I should say WILL--be very confusing without this, so I would take it with you all the time while exploring the Coconino National Forest.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

Questions & Answers

  • Where are the most Bobcats found in Arizona?

    Bobcats are found throughout Arizona at all elevations and landscapes, from the desert to rocky and forested areas. I don't know specifically wherein the state there might be more bobcats than other parts of Arizona.

© 2009 Deb Kingsbury

I Welcome Your Comments About The Critters of the Coconino National Forest

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    • Ramkitten2000 profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Kingsbury 

      4 months ago from Flagstaff, Arizona

      It was Peter? Wow, thanks for the heads up! :-)

      Thank you for your comment.

    • profile image


      4 months ago

      Actually, it was Peter who got lucky with that tarantula on the Brady Bunch. ;) This was very informative! A few months ago, a guy I know told me that he and his buddy came upon a rattlesnake near their camping site near the lake in Flag. One of them killed it, which I couldn't comprehend. But I also thought it was impossible as I thought snakes only live in hot climates. So I had to search this topic. The rest of the critter list was informative, as well. Thanks for writing it up!

    • Ramkitten2000 profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Kingsbury 

      8 months ago from Flagstaff, Arizona

      Bobcats are found throughout Arizona, from the deserts to the forested areas and at all elevations. I haven't see any statistics on where the highest concentrations might be. You might want to check with Arizona Fish & Game.

    • profile image

      Dayna Dollerschell 

      8 months ago

      Want to know where heaviedt bobcat population numbers are in Arizona. Hunt unit or county rankings.

    • Ramkitten2000 profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Kingsbury 

      2 years ago from Flagstaff, Arizona

      I haven't heard anything like that.

    • profile image

      Tracy Beeler 

      2 years ago

      How do you feel about the City of Sedona deciding to use the Red Rocks as a projection screen at night?

    • profile image


      2 years ago

      First of all, r ramkitties real? And second of all, I thought the horny toad was a bearded dragon? But they were all amazing!

    • Ramkitten2000 profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Kingsbury 

      5 years ago from Flagstaff, Arizona

      Hi, Rose. It's very possible it's a bear tooth that you found, because there are bears in that area. Not many, I don't believe, but I did see one myself (years ago) in the general area where you found the tooth. I suppose it could also be a mountain lion tooth. That said, I'm not an expert on identifying things like that, so I'd just be guessing, myself. I suppose you might try asking at Fish & Game. But if you'd like to email me a photo, I can take a look and show it to my husband, who's much better at identification like that I am. My email is ramkitten2000 at yahoo dot com.

    • profile image

      Rose Hadden 

      5 years ago

      My comment is a question. I found a very large what I think is a bears tooth out hwy 180 & off on back rd. 794 I believe we were on. is there a way I can shear a photo & get some feed back ? We have lived here in Flagstaff & Grand Canyon for 20 years and love to wonder the forest in all seasons & have never come across a find like this.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      My daughter and grand-daughter watched a black wolf, watching them, this past week up in the Coconino Forest. Quite a shocker. She was told that it was a "soot black" wolf, probably strayed from the Grand Canyon pack. 10/17/2013

    • mariacarbonara profile image


      7 years ago

      Wow, super interesting lens!

    • tvyps profile image

      Teri Villars 

      7 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Fantastic lens. The best I've seen all day! Blessed!

    • flicker lm profile image

      flicker lm 

      7 years ago

      What a beautiful photo of the Abert's Squirrel! I'd never heard of this critter before nor did I know that gray foxes sometimes sleep in trees. Thanks for the informative article.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      wow, beautiful photos!

    • Shorebirdie profile image


      8 years ago from San Diego, CA

      Hi Five! I've been to the Coconino National Forest, too! But, I don't remember what wildlife I saw.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I lived in Arizona for while, and visited the Flagstaff area several times. I wasn't aware of this National Forest. High Five for the wonderful tour of this great place.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      amazing good information

    • richi1973 profile image


      8 years ago

      High Five for your great content. Go on like that!

    • HtCares profile image


      8 years ago

      Wow, what a great lens! I sure learned a lot, especially about the Raven. I think that is my favorite. I would love to be able to set and watch one, they sound fascination.

    • hysongdesigns profile image


      8 years ago

      Great article~ I've seen many of these in the wild; some like rabbits & javalina are down here in the low desert too

    • GonnaFly profile image


      8 years ago from Australia

      It's so amazing how much diersity there is in nature. Those animals are all so different to what we have here in Oz. Blessed.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Lovely lens Deb - another place to add to places I would like to visit when I win the lottery :) That Squirrel is just too cute, but you can keep the rattlers!

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      I'm doing a report on mountain lions so I like your page

    • TonyPayne profile image

      Tony Payne 

      9 years ago from Southampton, UK

      Looks like a great place to visit, as long as you don't come across wasps or spiders. I came, I enjoyed and I left a blessing behind.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Another great lens..I look up one of your every now and then.

    • imolaK profile image


      9 years ago

      Thank you for sharing this wonderful lens with us. Blessed!

    • rebeccahiatt profile image


      9 years ago

      I would love to vist the Coconino Forest. They have elk and so does Cataloochee Valley in NC, and I love to go see the elk there.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      I enjoyed my lens-visit to Coconino -- now I want to see, hear and touch it up close too one day -- blessed by a SquidAngel!

    • KarenTBTEN profile image


      9 years ago

      This is quite a resource. I used to live in Arizona, but not Northern Arizona. Some things look similar, though. There is pine forest not too far from Tucson (as I feel sure you know)! Blessed by a SquidAngel

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      This is a truly great lens Deb. Wishing I was still a Squid Angel so that I could bless it like Chistene did. - Its gets a Thumbs-up, Fave, lensrolled, and it will get featured on some of my lenses today. - Best wishes to you in Nepal, and look forward to your return state-side so you can write the book about the Himalaya Dog Rescue Squad. - Loves...

    • Christene-S profile image


      10 years ago

      Blessed by a SquidAngel :)

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      I just came across this site. I love it. Im bookmarking! Take care Rorik.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Nice lens. The horny toad is my favorite, although the cats run a close second. And the javelina. Thanks for the info and pictures.

    • indigoj profile image

      Indigo Janson 

      10 years ago from UK

      What fascinating creatures. I really enjoyed this chance to get to know them, and would love to visit the Coconino National Forest too.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      5* I love the animal info!

    • ArtByLinda profile image

      Linda Hoxie 

      10 years ago from Idaho

      What an incredible amount of information you have on all these animals, and great photos...which you know I love! :)

    • profile image


      11 years ago


      My name is Elizabeth Jean Allen and I am the new group leader for the Nature and the Outdoors Group.



    • draik profile image


      11 years ago

      Thanks for joining All About Animals Group. Your lens was added to our feature module and it will appear randomly.

    • profile image


      11 years ago

      Good day, Ramkitten

      Thank you for visiting my lenses. Your surroundings sound beautiful. Watching elk roam by your home would be awesome. As you read I'm a big animal nut. Your ramkitten is adorable, too bad he's the last of his kind :). Great lens.

    • profile image


      11 years ago

      Thanks for visiting my chicken lens - glad you liked it.

      Very much enjoyed this lens of yours, and loved the photos of the animals. You certain have a way of talking about them and I'm looking forward to reading more of your lenses. I'm 5 starring you!


    • profile image


      11 years ago

      It makes life here in New Zealand sound positively boring - not even a Ramkitten, much less a bigger cat or snake or scary spider in sight.

    • profile image

      drifter0658 lm 

      11 years ago

      As usual, a very nice lens. I do admire your work.

      Here in Ohio, we now have nearly 300(yes, 300) nesting pairs of American Bald Eagles. AMAZING! I saw one last year not too far down the pike from where I live. I also understand that the Black bear, as well as Puma(panther, painter, etc.) are making a living nearby.

      But, absolutely the funniest one I've heard recently is that the have been Boar (not to be confused with Javelina) sighting in 2 parks within 5 miles of the house. They are considered nuisances and not game.

      Anyhoo...Rock On!

    • Franksterk profile image

      Frankie Kangas 

      11 years ago from California

      A beautifully executed lens. Full of interesting facts and photos and organized nicely to boot. 5 stars, favorited and I'm a FAN! Bear hugs, Franksterk aka Bearmeister aka Cat-Woman

    • profile image


      11 years ago

      I always enjoy your lenses and get itchy feet when I read them. I'm in England and I have to admit I hadn't heard of the Coconino National Forest before. Though I did pass through Flagstaff, which you mention, a few years back - must have had my eyes shut!


    • naturegirl7s profile image

      Yvonne L B 

      11 years ago from Covington, LA

      Beautiful lens. Lensrolled back to Creatures of the night. Welcome to the Naturally Native Squids group. Don't forget to add your lens link to the appropriate plexo and vote for it.

    • Tiddledeewinks LM profile image

      Tiddledeewinks LM 

      11 years ago

      I love nature and this is such a nice lens, like taking a walk through the forest.

    • profile image


      11 years ago

      Nice! Love the black rattlesnake ans peccary. They are all cool. Thanks for sharing.

    • profile image


      11 years ago

      You captured a lot of fascinating creatures on film. I love to wander through unspoiled territory. Locally my favorite haunt is the Francis Beidler Forest.

      Great lens


    • evelynsaenz1 profile image

      Evelyn Saenz 

      11 years ago from Royalton

      What amazing creatures can be found when Walking through the Woods. Thank you for showing us all the sights.


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