Black-throated Sparrows are a common site in the spring and summer along the trails at Montezuma Well. Their numbers are declining across the western United States due to loss of habitat to human development.
Gambel's Quail are commonly seen and heard at both Montezuma Castle and Montezuma Well. In the spring, family groups can be spotted scurrying together across the roadways, with the chicks spread out between both parents. Drive slowly as you enter the parks to avoid hitting these beautiful birds!
Great Horned Owls are the most commonly seen and heard owls at Montezuma Castle and Montezuma Well. Their diet consists primarily of small rodents which they locate by using their dish-shaped facial feathers to funnel sounds into their ears.
Loggerhead Shrikes can occasionally be seen hunting throughout the parks. Their habit of impaling their prey (grasshoppers, lizards, and even small mammals) on the spines of mesquite trees has earned them the nickname, "Butcher Bird."
Phainopeplas, a type of silky flycatcher, can be spotted in the picnic areas at both Montezuma Well and Montezuma Castle during the summer months. They can be easily identified by their striking white wing-stripes, which are only visible when they fly.
Rock Wrens are year-round residents of Montezuma Castle and Montezuma Well. Their plaintive "pi-TEW" calls can be heard easily from the rim of the Well, and they can often be seen hopping around the rocks near the overlook.
This White-throated Swift was found on the trail just after trying to fledge out of its nest which was located above. The bird, which was unharmed by its failed first attempt at flight, was placed on a sycamore branch and watched for a while. Rangers are pleased to report that the second attempt at flight was much more successful than the first.
This cardinal likes the picnic area at Montezuma Castle for all the crumbs that drop. Remember that wildlife does not need to be fed - these birds have enough food in the park, and people food isn't good for them.