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24 Yellowstone National Park Birds You Need To Know

Yellowstone National Park is a stunningly beautiful destination for tourists from all over the globe. One of the most fascinating attractions that draws visitors to this National Park is its rich and diverse bird population.

The park is home to over 67 species of birds with varying sizes, colors, and habitats. From massive birds of prey soaring high above the rocky cliffs to tiny songbirds chirping melodious tunes in thickets, Yellowstone birdwatching tours offer a unique and unforgettable experience.

This article explores the different birds that visitors can expect to see and hear on their visit to Yellowstone National Park.

1. Golden Eagle

Golden eagle

The Golden Eagle is an iconic bird of prey found throughout the northern hemisphere. It is a large, powerful raptor with dark brown feathers and lighter golden-brown plumage on its nape.

Immature eagles have white patches around their beaks, tails and wings which they lose as they mature.

Its diet consists mostly of small mammals such as rabbits, hares and marmots but can also include birds or reptiles depending on where it lives.

These majestic creatures are known for their remarkable strength in flight; using thermal updrafts to soar high into the sky searching for food or simply enjoying the view below them.

They are often seen soaring alone over open expanses looking out for potential threats from other predators like wolves or foxes that may encroach upon their territory.Scientific classification:

Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Aves
Order Accipitriformes
Family Accipitridae
Genus Aquila
Species A. chrysaetos

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2. American Robin

American robin

The American robin is a migratory bird, belonging to the true thrush genus and Turdidae family.

It was named after its European counterpart due to the similar reddish-orange breast they both possess; however, they are not related closely.

This species can be seen through most of North America during winter months, as well as in parts of Mexico and Central America where it also breeds.

They have plump bodies with gray upperparts and white underparts that vary from yellow on their throats down to orange toward their bellies.

Robins feed on fruits such as berries or insects like worms which makes them an important part of ecosystems by helping disperse seeds naturally throughout these areas.Scientific classification:

Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Aves
Order Passeriformes
Family Turdidae
Genus Turdus
Species T. migratorius

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3. Mountain Bluebird

Mountain bluebird

The Mountain Bluebird is a beautiful sight to behold. It has bright turquoise-blue wings and tail, with a light underbelly, grey crown and breast, black eyes and thin bills.

During the fall season its plumage changes slightly – females have duller blue wings and tail, as well as a grey throat and back.

As they migrate across western North America during springtime these birds can be found in mountainous districts where they feed on insects such as grasshoppers or crickets collected from meadows or fields of grain.

They also enjoy eating berries when available. Through their stunning colours this species adds vibrancy to any landscape it traverses through – truly an incredible creature of nature.Scientific classification:

Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Aves
Order Passeriformes
Family Turdidae
Genus Sialia
Species S. currucoides

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4. Common Loon

Common loon

The Common Loon is a beautiful bird found in North America. It has a large black head and neck, with a greenish to purple sheen that stands out against its dark grey upperparts.

The underparts are pure white except for some black on the undertail coverts and vent.

During non-breeding season adults have brown plumage instead of the bright shades they show during breeding season.

They also exhibit unique behaviors such as diving underwater to catch fish or swimming along lakeshores while calling loudly, which is how they got their name “great northern diver”.

With their stunning colors and interesting behavior, it’s no wonder why these birds make up an iconic part of many landscapes across North America.Scientific classification:

Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Aves
Order Gaviiformes
Family Gaviidae
Genus Gavia
Species G. immer

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5. Bald Eagle

Bald eagle

The majestic Bald Eagle is a bird of prey found in North America and recognized as the national symbol of the United States.

With its distinctive white head, brown body and striking yellow beak, this sea eagle has two known subspecies that form a species pair with the White-tailed Eagle.

It inhabits much of Canada, Alaska all states in the US contiguous area and Northern Mexico near large bodies of water where they feed mainly on fish.

These birds have an impressive wingspan ranging from 1.8 to 2 meters depending on their size making them one of nature’s most magnificent creatures.Scientific classification:

Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Aves
Order Accipitriformes
Family Accipitridae
Genus Haliaeetus
Species H. leucocephalus

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6. Peregrine Falcon

Peregrine falcon

The Peregrine Falcon is a majestic bird of prey belonging to the family Falconidae. It has a blue-grey back, barred white underparts and black head making it easily recognizable.

This intelligent raptor is known for its incredible speed reaching over 320 km/h (200 mph) during hunting dives – one of the fastest animals in existence.

The peregrine falcon can be found around the world from Arctic tundra to tropical rainforests thriving with humans or in high alpine mountains far away from civilization.

With their beauty, power and adaptability they are an impressive species that have earned respect among many cultures throughout history as symbols of strength and endurance.Scientific classification:

Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Aves
Order Falconiformes
Family Falconidae
Genus Falco
Species F. peregrinus

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7. California Gull

California gull

The California Gull is a medium-sized bird, smaller than the herring gull but larger than the ring-billed gull. It has a yellow bill with black ring and yellow legs.

Its head is rounder compared to other gulls and its body mainly white in color with grey back and wings.

They are mostly found around lakes, rivers or coasts of western North America where there is plenty of food available for them such as fish, insects and crustaceans which they consume on their daily diet.

During breeding season these birds form large colonies near water bodies or wetlands where they also make their nests using grasses sticks or feathers.

As omnivores they play an important role in maintaining balance within local ecosystems by eating both plants material like seeds & fruits as well as small mammals like rodents.Scientific classification:

Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Aves
Order Charadriiformes
Family Laridae
Genus Larus
Species L. californicus

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8. Red-Winged Blackbird

Red-winged blackbird

The red-winged blackbird is a beautiful bird found in most of North America and Central America.

Its distinct features include a glossy black body, with white shoulder patches and bright red wing coverts year round.

It prefers wetland habitats such as marshes, ponds, lakeshores and agricultural fields. During breeding season they inhabit grassy areas near water then move south for the winter months.

For food they mainly eat insects but also consume wild fruit or grains.

They are very social birds often seen in large flocks during migration times when their unmistakable “conk-la-ree” call can be heard echoing across the sky.Scientific classification:

Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Aves
Order Passeriformes
Family Icteridae
Genus Agelaius
Species A. phoeniceus

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9. Mallard


The Mallard is a species of dabbling duck that can be found living in temperate and subtropical regions across the Americas, Eurasia and North Africa.

It has been introduced to other areas such as New Zealand, Australia, Peru, Brazil and South Africa by humans.

This beautiful bird belongs to the Anatinae subfamily of waterfowl family Anatidae. The adult mallards have a glossy green head with white neck ring surrounding.

It along with brownish grey body feathers making them look stunning when they fly away or just sitting in their natural habitat around lakes or ponds.

They are excellent swimmers too due to webbed feet which helps them swim fast underwater while looking for food like aquatic insects etc.. Their loud quacking sound makes them quite popular among nature lovers.Scientific classification:

Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Aves
Order Anseriformes
Family Anatidae
Genus Anas
Species A. platyrhynchos

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10. American Dipper

American dipper

The American dipper is a small but stocky bird found in North America, with grey feathers and white eyelids that cause its eyes to appear to flash.

It measures approximately 16.5 cm (6.5 in) long and has a wingspan of 23 cm (9.1 in).

The average weight for an adult is 46 g (1.6 oz). This species can be identified by its habit of bobbing up and down when it pauses on rocks or logs near rivers or streams.

Hence the nickname ‘water ouzel’. Its diet consists mainly of aquatic insects which are collected from fast-flowing water using the strong claws located at the ends of their toes – amazing.Scientific classification:

Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Aves
Order Passeriformes
Family Cinclidae
Genus Cinclus
Species C. mexicanus

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11. Canada Goose

Canada goose

The Canada goose is a majestic bird with a black head and neck, white cheeks, chin and brown body. It’s native to North America but occasionally migrates to northern Europe across the Atlantic.

The species has been introduced in the United Kingdom, Ireland and Finland as well. Canada geese are strong flyers that travel in flocks for protection from predators; they also form monogamous pairs for life.

They feed on grasses or grains near ponds or wetlands where they make their nests of down which incubate eggs during summertime before hatching them out into goslings later on.Scientific classification:

Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Aves
Order Anseriformes
Family Anatidae
Genus Branta
Species B. canadensis

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12. Great Horned Owl

Great horned owl

The Great Horned Owl is an impressive bird native to the Americas. It is well-known for its wide range and adaptability, as it can be found in many different habitats across the continent.

Its diet consists primarily of rabbits, hares, rats and mice; however, they are also known to consume skunks, geese and other birds too.

With their powerful talons capable of crushing prey with ease, these owls have earned themselves a fearsome reputation due to their incredible strength.

Their iconic horn-like tufts on either side of its head add another layer of intimidation which helps them stand out from other owls in the area.Scientific classification:

Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Aves
Order Strigiformes
Family Strigidae
Genus Bubo
Species B. virginianus

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13. Osprey


The Osprey is a majestic bird of prey with an incredibly wide habitat range. It has distinctive brown upperparts and greyish head and underparts, making it easily identifiable in the skies above many regions across the world.

With a wingspan of up to 180cm (71in) and body length reaching 60cm (24in), this large raptor specializes in hunting for fish, soaring high over rivers as well as coasts searching for its next meal.

Despite living near water sources, they can also be found inhabiting mountainsides or even woodlands, proving their incredible adaptability. An impressive species that truly deserves admiration.Scientific classification:

Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Aves
Order Accipitriformes
Family Pandionidae
Genus Pandion
Species P. haliaetus

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14. Woodpeckers


Woodpeckers are an incredibly diverse bird species, found all over the world except for Australia, New Guinea, New Zealand, Madagascar and the extreme polar regions.

They live in a variety of habitats including forests and woodlands but also rocky hillsides and deserts with no trees.

Their beaks are adapted to pecking at tree bark to find food such as insects or larvae hidden beneath it while they use their long tongues to catch them from deep inside crevices.

Woodpeckers have tough skulls that protect their brains from impact when they bang into things during drumming – a behaviour used by males for territorial signalling and reproduction purposes which is done using strong rapid beats against hollow objects like dead branches or metal poles.Scientific classification:

Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Aves
Order Piciformes
Infraorder Picides
Family Picidae Leach, 1820

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15. Common Raven

Common raven

The Common Raven is an iconic black bird found throughout the Northern Hemisphere. It belongs to the Corvus corax species of passerines, and has at least eight subspecies with little physical variation between them.

Recent research however suggests there are significant genetic differences among populations from various areas.

They have a large wingspan of up to 1m and their call can be heard over great distances due to its deep croaking sound; they also use mimicry for communication purposes like many other birds do.

The ravens diet consists mostly of carrion, insects and fruits but they will scavenge in human settlements as well when food sources become scarce.

Their nests require plenty of space so these birds prefer open habitats such as tundra or mountain regions- ideal conditions for their long distance migrations.Scientific classification:

Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Aves
Order Passeriformes
Family Corvidae
Genus Corvus
Species C. corax

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16. Red-Breasted Nuthatch

Red-breasted nuthatch

The Red-breasted Nuthatch is a beautiful and vocal songbird that can be found in coniferous forests across Canada, Alaska, the northeastern United States and western US.

This small bird has blue-grey upperparts with cinnamon underparts, a white throat and face with black eye stripe, straight grey bill and black crown.

Its call sounds like a tin trumpet; it’s high-pitched yet nasal.

During mating season they form monogamous pairs to build their nest near tree trunks or branches at low heights off the ground where they lay 2 – 8 eggs at once.

They are very active little birds who love clinging to trees while searching for insect larvae or seeds within the bark of trees which helps control pest populations.Scientific classification:

Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Aves
Order Passeriformes
Family Sittidae
Genus Sitta
Species S. canadensis

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17. Great Blue Heron

Great blue heron

The Great Blue Heron is a majestic wading bird found in many parts of North America, Central America, the Caribbean and even as far away as the Galapagos Islands.

It has an impressive wingspan which can reach up to six feet wide. Its feathers are mainly bluish-gray with brownish streaks on both its neck and chest while its head displays white plumes.

The adult herons can also be identified by their yellow bill and legs.

They live near bodies of water such as lakes, marshes or rivers where they feed on fish using a spear like motion with their sharp bills.

An all-white population exists only in south Florida and the Florida Keys making it quite unique.Scientific classification:

Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Aves
Order Pelecaniformes
Family Ardeidae
Genus Ardea
Species A. herodias

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18. Trumpeter Swan

Trumpeter swan

The majestic Trumpeter Swan is the largest native waterfowl in North America, with a wingspan of up to 8 feet.

Found throughout Canada and parts of the United States, this beautiful bird can live for up to 20 years.

It has black legs and bill that are tipped yellow as well as snow-white feathers that help it stand out in its natural habitat.

The trumpeter swan’s diet consists mainly of aquatic vegetation such as roots, tubers, stems, leaves and seeds which they find by wading into shallow waters or grazing on land.

These birds form strong family bonds; both parents raise their young together until they reach adulthood at four years old.

Through conservation efforts these incredible creatures have been brought back from near extinction giving us all something special to appreciate.Scientific classification:

Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Aves
Order Anseriformes
Family Anatidae
Genus Cygnus
Species C. buccinator

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19. Sandhill Crane

Sandhill crane

Sandhill Cranes are a large species of crane native to North America and northeastern Siberia. They are known for their distinctive calls, long legs, and long necks.

These birds typically inhabit wetland areas like the Platte River in Nebraska’s Sandhills on the Great Plains.

In Central Florida, they often gather at the edges of bodies of water such as lakes or rivers.

During breeding season, sandhill cranes can be seen performing elaborate courtship dances that involve bowing and jumping in unison with their partner.

Their diet consists mainly of plant material including grains, roots, tubers and aquatic plants which they obtain by pecking or digging into mudflats using their bill or feet respectively.

With an average lifespan between 10-20 years these majestic creatures make great additions to any wetland habitat.Scientific classification:

Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Aves
Order Gruiformes
Family Gruidae
Genus Antigone
Species A. canadensis

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20. Red-Tailed Hawk

Red-tailed hawk

The Red-tailed Hawk is a majestic bird of prey with its distinctive red tail. It can be found throughout North America, from Alaska in the north to Panama and the West Indies in the south.

This species belongs to Buteo genus, which makes it one of most common raptors on earth.

These hawks mainly hunt small mammals such as rabbits or squirrels but also feed on reptiles and birds during migration season.

Unlike other predator birds, they prefer open areas for hunting like fields or grasslands rather than dense forests.

They build their nests high up on trees where they stay all year long unless disturbed by humans or animals nearby.

Their presence has become an iconic part of American culture due to their frequent sightings around homes and parks alike making them beloved creatures among people everywhere.Scientific classification:

Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Aves
Order Accipitriformes
Family Accipitridae
Genus Buteo
Species B. jamaicensis

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21. Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher

Blue-gray gnatcatcher

The Blue-gray Gnatcatcher is a beautiful small songbird native to North America. It has a length of 10–13 cm (3.9–5.1 in), wingspan of 6.3 in (16 cm) and weighs only 5–7 g (0.18–0.25 oz).

Males have blue-gray upperparts with white underparts, slender dark bill, and long black tail edged in white; females are less vibrant but still eye catching.

Juveniles are brownish gray overall but may show some hints of the adult colouration around their tails or shoulders as they mature into adulthood.

Their diet consists mainly of insects which they catch while flitting through air like tiny darts.

This stunning species can be found anywhere from woodlands to urban parks so keep your eyes peeled for these delightful creatures on your next outdoor adventure.Scientific classification:

Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Aves
Order Passeriformes
Family Polioptilidae
Genus Polioptila
Species P. caerulea

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22. American Bittern

American bittern

The American Bittern is a solitary, brown wading bird from the heron family. It lives in North America and Central America, breeding in Canada and northern parts of the United States before migrating south to winter on the states surrounding the Gulf Coast as well as Florida’s Everglades.

Not only does it blend into its surroundings thanks to its muted coloring but it also has a unique call that helps keep it hidden – an “un-ducklike” booming sound that can travel long distances due to low frequency vibrations.

The bittern spends most of their time alone but during mating season they become more social while gathering together at wetlands for courtship activities such as displaying with feathers erect or head bobbing.Scientific classification:

Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Aves
Order Pelecaniformes
Family Ardeidae
Genus Botaurus
Species B. lentiginosus

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23. Black-Billed Magpie

Black-billed magpie

The black-billed magpie is an iconic bird of the western half of North America and one of only four songbirds with a tail that makes up over half its body length.

With its glossy black feathers offset by white patches, they can be seen in open woodlands or near agricultural areas.

Their diet consists mainly of insects, carrion and grains but they often scavenge human food as well.

They are highly social birds who live in large groups and communicate through loud calls, snaps and rattles when defending their territory from other airborne predators like hawks or eagles.

Magpies have proven to be hardy survivors despite habitat loss due to urbanization so there’s hope these remarkable birds will remain part our landscape for many years to come.Scientific classification:

Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Aves
Order Passeriformes
Family Corvidae
Genus Pica
Species P. hudsonia

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24. Dusky Grouse

Dusky grouse

The Dusky grouse is a bird species found in the Rocky Mountains of North America. It is closely related to the Sooty grouse and was previously considered the same species as the Blue grouse.

This bird is primarily dark in color with a purplish throat air sac surrounding the neck of the adult male.

They have a long and square-shaped tail that is gray at the end. As forest-dwelling birds, Dusky grouse are commonly seen in coniferous forests during the breeding season.

They prefer to feed on the buds, flowers, and leaves of trees and shrubs. These birds are well-adapted to their environment and are known for their unique behaviors during the breeding season, which include elaborate courtship displays and vocalizations.

The Dusky grouse is an important species that plays a vital role in maintaining the ecological balance of their habitat.Scientific classification:

Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Aves
Order Galliformes
Family Phasianidae
Genus Dendragapus
Species D. obscurus

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