You can find wildlife any time of year, day, or night in national parks. You can find them in the air, land, or water. Whether it be the sandy shores of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, the marshes of Gateway National Recreation Area, the Lodgepole Pine Forests of Grand Teton National Park, or the wetlands of Everglades National Park there is always something to see, big or small. The key is knowing where and when to look.
Most animal activity patterns follow seasonal changes that affect food availability, mating, and raising young. In addition, many animals have migratory patterns that bring them to the park only during certain months. Most parks will have information on their websites about the types of wildlife you can find and the best times and places to see them, so check with the park before you go.
Explore some seasonal highlights from different parks for all four seasons. But keep in mind these animals are likely in other parks and natural areas, too. And if you’re up to the challenge, you could seek out migrating species in different parks during different times of the year.
Last updated: September 13, 2021