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Yellowstone National Park - BirdForum Opus

Photo by jayceeaz
The Lower Falls in Yellowstone NP, September 2005

US, Wyoming


Probably the most famous national park in the USA, Yellowstone is located in the north-western corner of Wyoming, spreading over into Montana on the north and west sides, and into Idaho on its southwest side. At an altitude between 1,500 and 3,500 m, most of the park is a volcanic plateau but there are also mountains and large areas of forest with Lodgepole Pine the most numerous species. Old Faithful and over 300 other geysers and hot springs are preserved within Yellowstone National Park. There are also sagebrush plains in some areas, the Yellowstone River and several lakes providing a wide variety of habitats and attracting a good range of birds with more than 230 species recorded.


Notable Species

American White Pelican, Trumpeter Swan, Osprey, and Golden Eagle and Bald Eagle are among the more spectacular birds to be seen in the park and there is a good range of forest birds to be found including Ruffed Grouse, Northern Goshawk, Great Horned Owl and Great Gray Owl, Clark's Nutcracker and Mountain Chickadee.

Photo by bobsofpa
Old Faithfull Geyser, June 2007


Birds you can see here include:

Common Loon (PM), Pied-billed Grebe (PM), Horned Grebe (PM), Eared Grebe (PM), Red-necked Grebe (PM), Western Grebe (PM), American White Pelican (PM), Double-crested Cormorant (PM), Great Blue Heron, Snowy Egret, Tundra Swan (W), Trumpeter Swan, Snow Goose, Canada Goose, Wood Duck (PM), Green-winged Teal, Mallard, Gadwall, Northern Pintail, Blue-winged Teal, Cinnamon Teal (PM), Northern Shoveler (PM), American Wigeon, Canvasback (PM), Redhead (PM), Ring-necked Duck (PM), Lesser Scaup, Harlequin Duck (PM), Common Goldeneye (W), Barrow's Goldeneye, Bufflehead, Hooded Merganser (PM), Common Merganser, Red-breasted Merganser, Ruddy Duck (PM), Osprey (PM), Bald Eagle, Northern Harrier, Sharp-shinned Hawk (PM), Cooper's Hawk, Northern Goshawk, Swainson's Hawk, Red-tailed Hawk, Ferruginous Hawk, Rough-legged Hawk, Golden Eagle, American Kestrel, Merlin, Peregrine Falcon, Prairie Falcon, Dusky Grouse, Ruffed Grouse, Sora Crake, American Coot, Sandhill Crane (PM), Whooping Crane, Semipalmated Plover (PM), Killdeer, Mountain Plover, American Avocet (PM), Greater Yellowlegs, Lesser Yellowlegs, Solitary Sandpiper, Willet (PM), Spotted Sandpiper (PM), Long-billed Curlew (Su), Marbled Godwit, Sanderling, Semipalmated Sandpiper, Western Sandpiper, Least Sandpiper, Baird's Sandpiper, Pectoral Sandpiper, Short-billed Dowitcher, Long-billed Dowitcher, Wilson's Snipe, Wilson's Phalarope (PM), Red-necked Phalarope, Franklin's Gull (W), Bonaparte's Gull, Ring-billed Gull (A), California Gull, Caspian Tern, Common Tern (PM), Forster's Tern (PM), Mourning Dove, Western Screech Owl, Great Horned Owl, Northern Pygmy Owl, Great Gray Owl, Long-eared Owl, Short-eared Owl, Boreal Owl, Northern Saw-whet Owl, Common Nighthawk, White-throated Swift, Calliope Hummingbird, Broad-tailed Hummingbird, Rufous Hummingbird, Belted Kingfisher, Lewis' Woodpecker, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Williamson's Sapsucker, Downy Woodpecker, Hairy Woodpecker, Three-toed Woodpecker, Black-backed Woodpecker, Northern Flicker, Olive-sided Flycatcher, Western Wood Pewee, Willow Flycatcher, Hammond's Flycatcher, Dusky Flycatcher, Cordilleran Flycatcher, Say's Phoebe, Western Kingbird, Eastern Kingbird, Horned Lark, Tree Swallow, Violet-green Swallow, Northern Rough-winged Swallow, Barn Swallow, Cliff Swallow, Barn Swallow, Gray Jay, Steller's Jay, Pinyon Jay, Clark's Nutcracker, Black-billed Magpie, American Crow, Northern Raven, Black-capped Chickadee, Mountain Chickadee, Red-breasted Nuthatch, White-breasted Nuthatch, Brown Creeper, Rock Wren, House Wren, Marsh Wren, American Dipper, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Mountain Bluebird, Townsend's Solitaire, Veery, Swainson's Thrush, Hermit Thrush, American Robin, Gray Catbird, Sage Thrasher, American Pipit, Bohemian Waxwing, Cedar Waxwing, Northern Shrike, European Starling, Plumbeous Vireo, Warbling Vireo, Red-eyed Vireo, Orange-crowned Warbler, Yellow Warbler, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Townsend's Warbler, American Redstart, MacGillivray's Warbler, Common Yellowthroat, Wilson's Warbler, Western Tanager, Black-headed Grosbeak, Lazuli Bunting, Green-tailed Towhee, Spotted Towhee, American Tree Sparrow, Chipping Sparrow, Brewer's Sparrow, Vesper Sparrow, Lark Sparrow, Lark Bunting, Savannah Sparrow, Song Sparrow, Lincoln's Sparrow, White-crowned Sparrow, Harris' Sparrow, Dark-eyed Junco (Oregon and Slate-colored forms), Thick-billed Longspur, Lapland Longspur, Snow Bunting, Bobolink, Red-winged Blackbird, Western Meadowlark, Yellow-headed Blackbird, Brewer's Blackbird, Brown-headed Cowbird, Gray-crowned Rosy-Finch, Black Rosy-Finch, Pine Grosbeak, Cassin's Finch, Red Crossbill, Common Redpoll, Pine Siskin, American Goldfinch, Evening Grosbeak, House Sparrow
(A = accidental; PM = passage migrant; Su = summer visitor; W = winter visitor)

Photo by bobsofpa
Iron Spring Creek, June 2007

Other Wildlife

The park is famous for its mammals which include Grey Wolf, Puma, Grizzly Bear and Black Bear as well as American Bison, Elk, Moose and Pronghorn.

Site Information

History and Use

Yellowstone was established in 1872 and is America's first national park.

Areas of Interest

  • Old Faithful Geyser
  • Lower, Midway and Upper Geyser Basins
  • Yellowstone Lake
  • Mammoth Hot Springs
  • Upper and Lower Falls on the Yellowstone River

Access and Facilities

  • Yellowstone NP is open year round, but there are certain road restrictions in the winter months
  • There are several visitor and education centers throughout the park
  • Accommodation is abundant in and around the park and ranges from campsites to luxury hotels
  • The park is easily reached by road, rail or air
  • See the official website in External Links (below) for more details

Contact Details

  • Visitor Information: (307) 344-7381
  • Write to: P.O. Box 168, Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190-0168
  • Email: only available via the website

External Links

Content and images originally posted by Steve and HelenB