Records of bird sightings have been kept in Yellowstone since its establishment in 1872. These records document nearly 300 species of birds to date, including raptors, songbirds, shorebirds, and waterfowl. Approximately 150 species nest in the park. The variation in elevation and broad array of habitat types found within Yellowstone contribute to the relatively high diversity. Many of the birds are migratory species. There are currently no federally listed bird species in Yellowstone National Park.

The Yellowstone National Park bird program monitors a small portion of its breeding bird species to gather information like reproduction, abundance, and habitat use. Data is collected on multiple species from a wide variety of taxonomic groups, and has been maintained for 25 or more years for several species. Long-term monitoring efforts help inform park staff of potential shifts in ecosystem function, e.g., climate change effects, for Yellowstone’s bird community and may guide future conservation of the park’s birds and their habitats.

A gray bird with white head in a branch with small leaves holds and insect in its beak

Bird Watching

Where are good birding locations?

A bird with brown wings and white belly landing on a large nest of sticks


Yellowstone supports 19 breeding raptor species.

Four large white and gray birds with black beaks on water

Wetland Birds

Approximately 30% of bird species in Yellowstone depend on wetlands.

A white-breasted bird with gray and black wings and black beak on a mound of snow

Songbirds and Woodpeckers

Passerine and near passerine species comprise the majority of bird species in Yellowstone.

Profile of a raven's head and chest

Other Notable Birds

Nearly 300 bird species have been sited in Yellowstone.


Quick Facts

Number in Yellowstone

285 documented species; approximately 150 species nest in the park.

Species of Concern

  • Trumpeter swans
  • Golden eagles
  • Common loons

Current Management

The Yellowstone National Park bird program monitors the park's bird species, including species of concern. The program's core activities are monitoring raptors (bald eagles, ospreys, peregrine falcons, golden eagles), wetland birds, and passerine/near passerine birds (songbirds and woodpeckers).


Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 168
Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190-0168


(307) 344-7381
Recorded information. For road and weather information, please dial 307-344-2117.

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