Home to more than 400 species and a variety of habitats—your chance to commune with nature is just a short drive away.

Birds to Bears and Everything in Between

The White Mountains of Arizona is the animal lover’s paradise.
Photographer: Judi Bassett

Wildlife viewing in natural habitats

No matter where you are in the White Mountains, an opportunity to view wildlife in its natural habitat abounds. In our region, there are more than 400 species—from common critters such as the black squirrel, to reclusive wolves and shy mountain lions and goats.

Some animals and birds make their home year-round in the White Mountains, while for others, our region is a resting place during their seasonal migration.

Watching wildlife is a learning experience and helps us to appreciate the creatures with which we share resources. Learning about wildlife can begin at any age and everyone can participate—whether it’s just to keep an eye on the bird feeder outside your window or to sit in a quiet meadow for hours hoping to catch a glimpse of a rare, migratory bird.

The Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest provides some of the best wildlife viewing in the state, perhaps in the nation! We have nearly three million acres of forests, meadows, mesas, lakes, streams, and brushland—each with its own indigenous species.

Viewing wildlife in their natural habitat leaves the watcher with a positive, unforgettable, and personal experience. It often drives people to be more caring toward wildlife and seek ways to participate in wildlife and habitat conservation and preservation.

With an ever-increasing population, and ever-decreasing natural habitats, fostering concern and action on behalf of the animal kingdom will serve to benefit all who live on this planet—no matter what type of animal you are.

For more information, visit: www.azgfd.com or www.whitemountainnaturecenter.org/arizona-wildlife

Five distinct birding zones

The White Mountains offer a diverse habitat for birds, making this a popular birding area. The marked trails of the White Mountains Trails System also provide safe, non-motorized paths for your entire family to enjoy this year-round pastime.

Look closely in the sky, trees, grasses, and water and you will find a variety of jays, grouses, hummingbirds of every imaginable color, and even birds of prey, such as the eagle, hawk, and owl. Lakes attract nesting, migratory, and wintering species of waterfowl as well as bald eagles.

Zone 1: Colorado Plateau.

Zone 2: Round Valley and Greer; includes Wenima Wildlife Area.

Zone 3: National forest south of Eagar; includes the Sipe White Mountain Wildlife Area.

Zone 4: White Mountain Apache Tribal lands.

Zone 5: Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest; includes White Mountain Wildlife & Nature Center.

For more information, visit: www.whitemountainaudubon.org

Birding zones of Arizona's White Mountains map (image)