Animals of Glacier Bay National Park

Terrestrial Animals of Glacier Bay
Glacier Bay National Park has several distinct habitats including spruce and hemlock forests, willow and alder thickets, and rocky glacial outwashes. A diversity of wildlife can be found throughout Glacier Bay.

 
Black bear with a salmon in its mouth
A black bear eating a salmon.

NPS Photo

Black Bear
Black bears are often seen foraging for food on the beaches and in the meadows. Black bears may be black, brown, or even grey-blue!

 
Bald eagle landing
A bald eagle prepares to land.

NPS Photo/A. Falgoust

Bald Eagle
Bald eagles may be seen in trees or on icebergs in Glacier Bay. Their nests may be more than six feet across and can be used for many years.

 
A porcupine eating
A porcupine eats the needles of a conifer branch.

NPS Photo/A. Falgoust

Porcupine
Porcupines are herbivores and may be seen in trees. Their sharp quills have barbs which help lodge the quill in a predator's nose.

 
A moose in the snow
A moose stands in a snowy landscape.

NPS Photo/Schaller

Moose
Moose are the tallest land animals in North America and love to eat willows found throughout Glacier Bay.
 
A wolf lies down in the moss
A wolf rests on the mossy forest floor.

NPS Photo/Schaller

Wolf
Several packs of wolves live in Glacier Bay. They are secretive, but it is thrilling to find their tracks on the beach or hear their howls at night.
 
A brown bear in the intertidal zone
A brown bear feeding in the intertidal zone.

NPS Photo

Brown Bear
Brown bears are found throughout Glacier Bay, but are often seen on beaches or barren mountainsides.
 
Black-legged kittiwakes on an iceberg
Black-legged kittiwakes rest on an iceberg.

NPS Photo

Black-legged Kittiwake
Black-legged kittiwakes nest in colonies on barren cliffs and eat small fish and zooplankton. Their name comes from their frequent calls of "kittiwake" and their dark black legs.
 
A raven perched on a snowy fence post
A raven perches on a snowy fence post.

NPS Photo

Common Raven
Ravens are the largest member of the corvid family, which includes jays and crows. These birds are very smart and can make hundreds of different vocalizations. They are omnivorous scavengers.
 
A mountain goat at the top of a cliff
A mountain goat stands at the top of a cliff.

NPS Photo

Mountain Goat
The narrow bodies and special hooves of mountain goats help them move easily on steep cliffs. They eat lichen and other plants.
 
Marine Animals of Glacier Bay
Glacier Bay National Park has many habitats for marine animals including a rich marine ecosystem, intertidal areas, and islands. Islands make great resting places for marine birds.
 
A humpback whale feeding
A humpback whale feeding in Glacier Bay.

NPS Photo/Neilson

Humpback Whale
Humpback whales migrate to Glacier Bay every summer to eat capelin and other small schooling fish. Many humpback whales return to the same bays and inlets every year.
 
A harbor seal pup rests on an iceberg
A harbor seal pup rests on an iceberg.

NPS Photo

Harbor Seal
Harbor seals haul out on icebergs in Glacier Bay to give birth to their young. The icebergs are a safe place away from predators like orcas.
 
Harbor porpoise swimming
A harbor porpoise swims in Glacier Bay.

NPS Photo

Harbor Porpoise
Harbor porpoises are only 4-6' long and are very secretive. They may travel and feed alone or in small groups.
 
Marbled murrelet with a fish in its mouth
A marbled murrelet eating a fish.

NPS Photo

Marbled Murrelet
Marbled murrelets are sea birds who pursue small fish through the water. Many murrelets spend the day in the waters of Glacier Bay and fly back to their nests in old growth forests with a fish for their chicks every night.

 
Two tufted puffins swimming
Tufted puffins swimming in the waters of Glacier Bay.

NPS Photo/Neilson

Tufted Puffin
Tufted puffins nest in burrows on cliffs in Glacier Bay. They swim after small fish and can carry several at a time. Their bright beaks and yellow feather tufts are breeding plumage and are shed in the winter.
 
Stellar sea lions hauled out
Stellar sea lions hauled out on South Marble Island.

NPS Photo/A. Falgoust

Stellar Sea Lion
Stellar sea lions haul out on South Marble Island. While some sea lions bark, Stellar sea lions growl. Some large male sea lions develop a lot of muscle around their neck, like the mane of a lion.
 
A pod of orcas swimming
A pod of orcas swims in Glacier Bay.

NPS Photo

Orca
The tall dorsal fin of male orcas may be more than six feet tall. Females have a small triangular fin. Some orcas only eat fish, like salmon, and others feed only on marine mammals like harbor seals.
 
A sea otter pokes its head out of the water
A curious sea otter pokes its head out of the water to look around.

NPS Photo/A. Falgoust

Sea Otter
Sea otters have the densest pelt of any animal. They don't have blubber to keep warm and rely on their thick fur. Sea otters also eat to keep warm. Favorite foods include urchins, crabs, clams, and more.
 
Giant Pacific Octopus
A giant Pacific octopus found in Glacier Bay.

NPS Photo

Giant Pacific Octopus
Giant Pacific octopus hatch from an egg the size of a grain of rice but can grow to be more than 200 pounds. They live mostly in water less than 330 feet deep. The skin of octopi can change color to match the environment.

Last updated: March 12, 2018

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

Glacier Bay National Park & Preserve
PO Box 140

Gustavus, AK 99826

Phone:

(907) 697-2230

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