Bird Watching

turkey vulture in flight over the mesa
Look up! Birds like this turkey vulture are commonly sighted flying overhead.

NPS Photo

Although Natural Bridges may not be known for birding, the park has a variety of birds, from the black-chinned hummingbird to the common raven. 207 species of birds call Natural Bridges home or travel through the monument during migration.

Where to Bird Watch

For smaller birds, look among the pinyon-juniper forest or on the ground around vegetation. Larger birds – especially raptors - can be seen flying or perched on a tree or rock that gives them a good view of the surrounding landscape.

On the canyon floor, water and riparian plants attract birds not normally found in the high desert. The songs of many birds drift through the canyons, rewarding adventurous hikers. You may even be startled by small birds making lots of noise in the brush as they scavenge for insects and seeds in ground litter (leaves, twigs, grasses).

Basic Birding Etiquette:

  • Tread lightly and quietly – birds may spook easily

  • Don’t feed the birds to try to get them to come to you

  • Please refrain from using recorded bird calls to elicit responses

Books about Birds

Books and other materials on birds are available for purchase in the visitor center bookstore.

canyon wren sitting in Cliffrose bush
With a distinctive song that echoes throughout the canyons, canyon wrens are easier to hear than see.

NPS Photo by Andrew Kuhn

Common Birds

During your visit, you’ll most likely see or hear one of the following:

  • Raven – Ravens are common throughout the park.
  • Western Scrub Jay – These jays are particularly common around the campground and visitor center.
  • Juniper Titmouse & Mountain Chickadee – Look for these smaller birds in the pinyon-juniper forests on the mesa top.
  • Canyon Wren – Canyon wrens are easier heard than seen. As you hike into the canyons, listen for their distinctive cascading trill.
large raptor with dark feathers and white patches under its outstretched wings soaring overhead
Golden eagles and other raptors are usually spotted flying overhead or on high perches.

NPS Photo

Rarer Finds

Birds found in the park, though not commonly seen include:

  • Golden Eagle – look for this large raptor flying overheard or on a high perch.
  • Green-Winged Teal – Lucky birders may get a rare sight – a duck in the desert! Look for teals in the large ephemeral pools on the canyon floor.
  • Northern Pygmy Owl – These small owls are often active during the day – look for them being mobbed by flocks of smaller birds (the owls’ main food source) among the trees.

Species List


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Learn More

You can explore birds and wildlife watching from national parks around the country.

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    Tags: birdwatching

    Last updated: January 26, 2020

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    Lake Powell, UT 84533-0001


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