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Birdwatching in Yellowstone National Park - A guide to finding birds in Yellowstone

Updated: Apr 25, 2023

Millions of people visit Yellowstone National Park each year. The pandemic is in the rearview mirror, so this is the perfect year for enjoying the birds of Yellowstone!

Have you gone birding in Yellowstone National Park?

  • Yes

  • No

  • I'm going soon!

  • Hopefully, one day!


I will be honest; this post is a 50/50 split of shameless plugs for our guide, "Birding in Yellowstone National Park" and provides you with a glimpse of some of the great birds found in Yellowstone National Park.

The Birds of Yellowstone National Park

Approximately 300 species of birds have been documented in the infamous Yellowstone National Park. Now, while a weeklong visit may not allow you to see all 300 documented species, you have a great chance at seeing over 100 species of bird! Which birds are you likely to see? Well...

Owls of Yellowstone National Park

Northern Saw-whet Owl
Northern Saw-whet Owl

Eight species of owl have been documented in Yellowstone National Park. However, most of these species are highly secretive, cryptic, and generally hard to find. For your best chances to see them, visit old-growth forest and riparian zones. DO NOT USE PLAYBACK. This activity is illegal in Yellowstone National Park and is often considered highly unethical. The most common species found in the park are:

  • Great Horned Owl

  • Long-eared Owl

  • Boreal Owl

  • Northern Saw-whet Owl

  • Great Gray Owl - but only if you know where to look!

Long-eared Owl
Long-eared Owl

Hummingbirds in Yellowstone National Park

Broad-tailed Hummingbird
Broad-tailed Hummingbird

Only three species of hummingbird have been documented in Yellowstone National Park. Your best chance to see these three species is in areas with flowering plants and riparian zones. The three species of hummingbird are:

  • Broad-tailed Hummingbird

  • Calliope Hummingbird

  • Rufous Hummingbird

Rufous Hummingbird
Rufous Hummingbird

Songbirds in Yellowstone National Park

Western Tanager
Western Tanager

There are a large number of songbirds that nest in (and migrate through) Yellowstone. Some of the most colorful birds your mind could imagine can be found throughout the park. Luckily, these little birds sing loudly and are bright, making them easy to find!

Audubon's Yellow-rumped Warbler
Audubon's Yellow-rumped Warbler

Woodpeckers of Yellowstone National Park

American Three-toed Woodpecker
American Three-toed Woodpecker

Ten species of woodpecker have been documented around Yellowstone. The best habitats to find the various "drummers" of the park are the old-growth forest and recently burned or beetle-killed areas. The most common species of woodpeckers here are:

  • Downy Woodpecker

  • Hairy Woodpecker

  • Northern Flicker

  • Red-naped Sapsucker

  • Williamson's Sapsucker

  • American Three-toed Woodpecker

Williamson's Sapsucker
Williamson's Sapsucker

Guides to Finding Birds in Yellowstone National Park

There are numerous resources available to help find birds in Yellowstone National Park. Here are a few of the most helpful ones:

While these resources are invaluable for finding birds in Yellowstone National Park, we are offering a new resource for bird and wildlife lovers.

WARNING: Shameless plug ahead.

Our newest e-guide, Birding in Yellowstone National Park, directs you to approximately 100 of the park's best birding locations. Each hotspot provides information on expected bird species, seasons to visit, finding certain species, GPS navigation, and more!

To properly use this e-Guide, we recommend using the following apps for each device type:

If you would like to use the supplementary map and instructions, you may need the additional software listed on the description page for the guide. These software are not necessary! However, we highly recommend them.

We hope Birding in Yellowstone National Park helps you find countless new species, new experiences, and new laughs.

If you need help finding the guide, click on the photo below.


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