Birds of National Parks

GRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK BIRDS

Over 370 bird species can be found in Grand Canyon National Park. It is truly a varied population that soars thousands of feet above the rims or flits along the rocks and bushes at the edge of the Colorado River. Endangered and common, birds of all sorts seek refuge here.

Birds of prey are frequently seen around the park. Several species of hawk and owl, and more specific species of California Condor and Peregrine Falcon are representative among the flighted carnivores. Peregrine Falcons are a major success story of recovery while the small number of preserved California Condors are moving in the direction of being another positive movement.

Songbirds and ravens, hummingbirds and jays: Grand Canyon National Park is one of the most diverse varieties of birds. It was granted status as a Globally Important Bird Area in 2014. Keep an eye out for all of our feathered friends!

 

YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK BIRDS

Bald Eagle

Several nesting pair of bald eagles return to Yellowstone. Of the 18 nests spotted in 2014, 16 chicks were hatched. That was a higher percentage than the 30 year average. During the summer there frequently spotted feeding on fish in large trees near waterways, but during the winter months, bald eagles frequently feed on downed carrion of big game animals. Adult bald eagles are identifiable by the stark white feathers on their heads.

 

Trumpeter Swan

Recovered from a population of only 69 in the mid-20th century, North America now hosts over 45,000 trumpeter swans. Yellowstone National Park provided a safe haven for breeding pairs during some touch and go years, but they are worried because they host a declining population these days. Trumpeter swans require open water for takeoff. They have a wingspan approaching 8 feet from tip to tip!

 

Great Horned Owl

This widespread raptor rarely makes itself seen during the day, but a pair of them have been famous for being visible near Mammoth Hot Springs in Yellowstone. Feeding on small mammals, primarily, great horned owls fly near silently at night, but have a very distinct call.

 

Woodpeckers

Yellowstone National Park is frequently subject to fires. Several variety of woodpecker moves in to the burned-out forests at different time intervals to feed on the bugs that are feeding on the dead trees left behind. Visitors with a keen eye, and ear, will be able to spot northern flickers, three toed, hairy, and black-backed woodpeckers.

 

Songbirds

Even the casual outdoor enthusiast loves the sound of a pleasant bird calling through the forest. Yellowstone is several species with noteworthy noises let loose by willing beaks. Wilson's warbler, gray catbirds, chickadees, bluebirds, and other varieties can almost always be spotted or heard.

 

BRYCE CANYON NATIONAL PARK 

Over 150 species of birds have been spotted in the skies of Bryce Canyon National Park. A majority of these winged creatures visit on a seasonal basis, especially the songbirds and large raptors. Migratory patterns mean that no matter what time of year you visit the park, there will always be something new to see.

Ravens are one of the new year-round birds. They are tricky animal steeped in legend. Historically, they are feared by Europeans and deeply respected by Native Americans. Today, ravens are viewed as exceedingly clever. Other birds might even find them a bit of a nuisance for being so territorial in their nesting habits.

California Condors are an infrequent visitor to the park. Still, it is a thrill for some visitors to get a look at this endangered species. Another at risk raptor in the area is the Peregrine Falcon. Guests are invited to report sightings of either bird species to any available ranger.

 

ZION NATIONAL PARK 

Nearly 300 species of winged, feathered, beautiful birds have been counted at Zion National Park. Nearly extinct raptors, the Peregrine Falcon and the California Condor, share airspace with hummingbirds, ravens, and a variety of songbirds. Visitors never know what to expect next when they are keeping their eyes to the sky!

One of the rarer species some people are lucky enough to encounter is the Mexican Spotted Owl. Don't waste your time looking for these in the open valleys or on the high plateau. Mexican Spotted Owls prefer the shady, overgrown environments of the slot canyons created by sandstone cliffs. Rangers keep a regular eye on 10-12 of the nesting pairs found in the Zion National Park.

Former Zion National Park naturalist and poet, J. L. Crawford, penned an ode to another of the parks unique birds: the American Dipper. It flies, it swims, it eats bugs and fish! Seems not even the sky around Zion National Park is big enough to contain all of the bird species found here.