Raven

Close-up of the black feathers, eyes, and beak of a raven's head
Ravens are intelligent birds.

NPS/Neal Herbert

Several raven relatives live in Yellowstone, including the common raven (Corvus corax). Common ravens are smart birds, able to put together cause and effect. Ravens are attracted to wolf kills and some have learned to follow wolves while they hunt elk. They must wait to begin feeding until wolves tear into a carcass as ravens are not able to rip open thick skin. Ravens are willing to eat almost anything and are frequently seen near parking lots searching for food—some have even learned to unzip and unsnap packs. Do not feed them.

Recent surveys indicate 200–300 ravens are present in the northern range of Yellowstone. Based on a 2012 study by biologists at the University of Washington, 64% of the total 243 ravens counted on the northern range were in natural settings away from human areas, while 36% were in human areas.

 
Bald eagle standing over a fish that it's eating.

Bald Eagle

Bald eagles can be seen along Yellowstone's many rivers and lakes.

An osprey comes in for a landing on a nest, where its mate tends the nest.

Osprey

Osprey summer in Yellowstone, fishing and raising young.

A peregrine falcon perched on a branch.

Peregrine Falcon

Peregrine falcons are some of the fastest birds.

A pair of white pelicans floating on water.

Colonial Nesting Birds

Colonial nesting birds—pelicans, gulls, and cormorants—primarily nest on the Molly Islands.

A loon swimming on a lake.

Common Loon

Loons in Yellowstone are some of the southern most breeding populations.

A pair of swans swimming on a lake.

Trumpeter Swan

Trumpeter swans are the largest wild waterfowl in North America.

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.

A small, gray bird perched on a rock along a stream holding an insect in its beak.

American Dipper

Also known as the water ouzel, these birds dive into water for aquatic insects.

A sandhill crane walking through a marshy landscape.

Sandhill Crane

Sandhill cranes nest in Yellowstone during the summer.

A yellow-breasted bird with black markings calls out as it stands on a stick

Birds

About 150 species build their nests and fledge their young in Yellowstone.

An eared grebe near Mammoth Hot Springs

Sound Library

Immerse yourself in the aural splendor of Yellowstone.

 

Resource

Boarman, W.I., and B. Heinrich. Common raven. The Birds of North America Online. https://birdsna.org/Species-Account/bna/species/comrav/introduction/

Last updated: July 17, 2018

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Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190-0168

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