Wildlife Viewing

Watch the Wildlife at Picacho Peak State Park

The park offers a natural habitat for many of the animals found in the Sonoran Desert. This includes many species of mammals and reptiles  as well as a large number of birds. (Bird lists are available at the Visitor Center.) The park is home to a number of invertebrates as well.

Mammals frequently seen include black-tailed jackrabbit, desert cottontail rabbit, roundtail ground squirrel, harris antelope squirrel, rock squirrel, desert pocket mouse, Mexican freetailed bat, kangaroo rat. Coyote, badger, skunk, raccoon, bobcat, desert mule deer, javelina, and kit fox are occasionally seen. Porcupine, antelope jackrabbit, ringtail cat, and mountain lion are rarely seen.

Reptiles frequently seen include western diamondback rattlesnake, gopher snake, garter snake, coach whip, common chuckwalla, zebra-tailed lizard, tree lizard, western banded gecko, and the side-blotched lizard. Tiger rattlesnake, Mojave rattlesnake, desert tortoises, and the regal horned lizard are infrequently seen. Gila monsters are rarely seen.

The Sonoran desert toad (an amphibian) has been spotted in the park during the monsoon season.

Invertebrates that can be seen at Picacho Peak include giant desert centipede, desert hairy scorpion, tailless whipscorpion, western black widow spider, and fiddleback spider. The most frequently seen invertebrates are probably the desert tarantula in the fall, and sun spiders and the bark scorpion year-round.

Birds are abundant and include vultures, hawks, doves, owls, hummingbirds, woodpeckers, flycatchers, jays, wrens, sparrows, finches, warblers, and many more. Please refer to the bird list available at the contact station. Some of the most commonly seen species include turkey vulture, red-tailed hawk, peregrine falcon, Gambel quail, mourning dove, Gila woodpecker, gilded flicker, curve-billed thrasher, canyon towhee, house finch, common raven, cactus wren, and Costa’s hummingbird.