A Seasonal Influx of Birds

On March 1, 1872, Yellowstone became the first national park for all to enjoy the unique hydrothermal and geologic wonders. The broad array of habitat types found within Yellowstone contributes to a high diversity of bird species, including many whose migratory travels bring them back to the park each year from winter journeys south.

 
Ruby-crowned kinglet on branch of a pine tree

Birds

Spring is a wonderful time to look for birds, including raptors, songbirds, shorebirds, and waterfowl.

Bison at Terrace Spring

Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem

Yellowstone is the heart of one of the largest, nearly intact temperate-zones on Earth.

Person using telephoto lens to photograph a grizzly from a safe distance

Watch Wildlife

Bring some binoculars or a spotting scope and enjoy animals from a safe distance.

 

Experience Your Yellowstone

An amazing experience awaits you here. In spring, plowing begins and roads and services open for the season on a staggered schedule. Please check the current conditions, operating seasons and hours, road conditions, and lodging and eating options to help plan your visit.

 
A lone person standing on a boardwalk and takes a picture of steaming hot springs.

Things To Do

Explore all the different things there are to do in the park.

View from the top of a building shows visitors standing in a wide arc around a steaming geyser.

Webcams

Watch Old Faithful erupt or see the Upper Geyser Basin, Mount Washburn, Yellowstone Lake, and some of the park entrances.

Four people sitting in campsite in front of a fire laughing and smiling.

Camp in a Campground

Plan a night in one of twelve park campgrounds.

A car drives along a road next to a river, with snow still covering the nearby mountain slopes.

Park Roads

See what's open during our spring season.

Smart phones showing NPS app home screen

NPS Yellowstone Apps

Two official free apps that can help plan and enrich your trip to Yellowstone.

Child wearing a winter hat and coat looking out across a deep, aqua-green hot spring.

Kids & Youth

What fascinates you about Yellowstone? Personalize your online adventure of the world's first national park.

Map of Norris Geyser Basin showing a brief description and image of Steamboat Geyser.

Virtual Tours

Virtual explore different parks of the park through interactive maps.

 

Understand Yellowstone

Yellowstone is as wondrous as it is complex. The park is at the heart of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, where nature and culture abound. Here are just a few highlights for you to learn about the park, the park's strategic priorities, and substantial successes and challenges over the past two years in the State of the Park report.

 

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Transcript

This spring, we were really fortunate to have a pair of great horned owls nest successfully right at Officer's Row in Mammoth.

When the owlets hatch, they're pretty tiny and they're not visible. It was about four weeks before any sign of activity in the nest. We were all like parents or grandparents or whatever because we were looking for any kind of sign that said the nest was successful.

Shortly before the middle of May, we got to see that there were young owlets in the nest. Owlets grow pretty quickly. They can start hopping out of the nest at about six or seven weeks, and be capable of short flights at about seven weeks. But they're dependent on the adults for several weeks after that, the male especially, to bring food to them. They're learning how to fly, but landing is always an issue, and landing on something you can eat is even more challenging.

By late fall or early winter, they're going to be out of the adult's territory... if they're still alive. Juvenile mortality is really high in the natural world and that dispersal - not having the adults to depend on for food - is the challenging time. That's make or break time.

What was fortunate about this pair, this year and in previous years, is they're pretty tolerant of lots of people observing them from a safe distance. It doesn't mean they're tame, by any means: the distance to remain from them is still 75 feet, but people loved it. Because it's a treat, it's a great treat to get to see owls.

I'm Katy Duffy. I'm the interpretive planner for Yellowstone National Park.

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Duration:
2 minutes, 19 seconds

Great horned owls live in Alaska, Florida and virtually everywhere in-between, but people rarely get to see them because they mostly hunt at night. During Spring 2014, a pair of owls delighted crowds in Mammoth Hot Springs when they established a visible nest, and hunted during the day since that's when their local prey (the Uinta ground squirrel) is most active.

 
An eared grebe floats on the surface of a pond.

Sound Library

Sounds of nature harken the arrival of spring. Immerse yourself in the aural splendor of Yellowstone.

Grizzly bears and ravens feed on a carcass near a couple of ponds.

Cycles and Processes

Many animals migrate seasonally, following the new growth of grasses and other food sources.

A heartbeat graphic is superimposed over a croaking frog and a mountain valley

Yellowstone Science

Yellowstone Science shares in-depth, science-based knowledge about the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.

Dead branches leaned up against a tree in a conical shape form a wickiup.

Historic Tribes

Many tribes have a traditional connection to this region and its resources.

Interactive map depicting some of the major places in the park.

Kids: Places in Yellowstone

Yellowstone is full of incredible places. Explore the park with this interactive map.

 

Preserve Yellowstone

The National Park Service works to preserve Yellowstone for the enjoyment, education, and inspiration of all people. We are not alone in this endeavor-park partners, volunteers, and visitors all help. Learn how to get involved.

 
Visitor applying a boat permit sticker

Clean, Drain, and Dry

Prevent the transport of aquatic invasive species to Yellowstone by making sure you clean, drain, and dry your boat before you arrive.

Photo of ranger deploying bear spray.

Bear Spray

Learn about this highly effective bear deterrent.

A group of bison cows and calves walking through a green meadow.

Bison Management

Review how the park maintains a wild, migratory bison population in a modern landscape.

 
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Duration:
1 minute, 10 seconds

Prevent the transport of aquatic invasive species to Yellowstone by making sure you clean, drain, and dry your boat before you arrive.

Last updated: May 6, 2021

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

PO Box 168
Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190-0168

Phone:

307-344-7381

Contact Us