western gull chick sitting in flowering bush
Western Gull - Channel Islands National Park

Photo © Tim Hauf,

A large variety of birds can be found in Coastal and Great Lakes National Parks.
Shorebirds gather in groups of thousands to feed on beaches, sea birds crowd into rocky colonies during breeding season, and even familiar species that you might find in your backyard.

Habitat in National Parks

In many cases, the habitat protected in coastal and Great Lakes national parks is critical for the survival of these animals. Migratory birds, like the piping plover, the sooty tern, and the Wilson’s warbler, rely on protected areas for rest, food, nesting, and breeding. Old growth forests in parks along the Pacific coast provide nesting for threatened marbled murrelets, who return each night after spending their days fishing in coastal waters. Haleakalā National Park provides a refuge for rare honeycreepers, like the brightly color ‘i’iwi, that are threatened by development and non-native species.

Learn about Birds

Birding is a great way to experience all kinds of bird species that call National Parks home. Whether you are learning to bird or an experienced birder, coastal and Great Lakes parks offer many opportunities to appreciate and learn about birds. Ask your local park about birding programs.

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