Take in the Sights and Sounds of the National Parks

Enjoy a nature break and listen to birds from America’s greatest natural wonders

We've pulled together beautiful photos of some of America's most breathtaking scenery and paired them with bird sounds compiled by the National Park Service. With natural habitats ranging from deserts to arctic tundra to tropical rainforests and everything in between, a wide variety of bird species make their homes in the public lands. Some, like the yellow-rumped warbler, are common, some like the ‘ua’u, are nearing extinction and others, like the bald eagle, have made a comeback.

An American Robin in Yellowstone National Park

American robins can be found throughout Yellowstone National Park. They make their homes everywhere from cities to the Alaskan wilderness. 

A Bald Eagle in Yellowstone National Park

Nearly 150 bird species nest in Yellowstone and America’s national bird, the bald eagle, can often be seen in the sky near lakes and rivers. To spot the famous white head and tail synonymous with the bald eagle, be sure to spot an adult. The lighter feathers don’t develop until eagles are between four and five years old. 

An Anhinga in Everglades National Park

The unique birds found at Everglades National Park were influential in the creation of the protected land. Anhinga Trail is one of the parks most popular trails because of the wildlife seen on it, ranging from anhingas to flamingos to alligators. Anhingas, also known as water turkeys and snakebirds, stalk fish underwater for their meals. 

A Red-Breasted Nuthatch in Yosemite National Park

Red-breasted nuthatches are tiny but will put up a fight for their nests. While building nests, red-breasted nuthatches will chase away yellow-rumped warblers and other birds, and will steal nest material from other birds. 

A Hermit Thrush in Yosemite National Park

Birders who visit Yosemite National Park have a wide array of migratory bird species to spot, no matter what time of year they visit. Although they are smaller than an American robin, hermit thrushes will eat small amphibians and reptiles in addition to beetles, caterpillars and other bugs. 

A Clark's Nutcracker in Yosemite National Park

Yosemite is a designated World Heritage Site and an Important Bird Area. One of the many birds that call the park home is the Clark’s nutcracker. They eat large seeds from the insides of pinecones and can store them in a pouch under their tongue so they can each bury tens of thousands of seeds for the winter. The seeds they don’t uncover in the winter help grow new pine forests. 

A Northern Flicker in Yosemite National Park

The northern flicker is a woodpecker, but because it prefers to eat ants and beetles from the ground, it can be found on the ground foraging for food.

A Spotted Owl in Yosemite National Park

Some of the main sources of food for Yosemite’s spotted owls are northern flying squirrels and wood rats, but they also eat bats and smaller owls. If a spotted owl survives into adulthood, it can live to be as old as 17. 

An 'Ua'u (Hawaiian Petrel) in Haleakala National Park

Haleakala National Park is home to some of the most rare birds in the national parks. Some have already become extinct or are nearing extinction. The ‘ua’u is one of these endangered species. They fly at night and most likely use the stars to navigate. They can become fatally confused by lights, flying around a light source until they become so tired they fall to the ground. Their largest known nesting colony is on Mount Haleakala.

A Ptarmigan in Denali National Park

The willow ptarmigan is Alaska’s state bird and can be found in the tundra and thickets of trees in Denali (also known as Mt. McKinley.) In Adolph Murie’s 1963 book, The Birds of Mt. McKinley, Murie writes, “in McKinley Park the visitor has the rare opportunity to enjoy northern landscapes, a variety of lichens and flowers, and grizzlies, caribou, dall sheep, perhaps a wolf or a wolverine, and a number of birds in their northern breeding grounds. Of special interest among the birds are the three species of ptarmigan, each with a specialized voice and an inclination to use it.”

A White-Crowned Sparrow in Denali National Park

Under the watch of Mount McKinley, the continent’s highest peak, Denali National Park is home to beautiful wildflowers June through August and over 150 species of birds in the spring and summer. White-crowned sparrows can be found hopping on the ground and have low nests, usually 1.5 to ten feet off the ground. 

Sandhill Cranes in Denali National Park

Cranes are some of the oldest birds on the planet, and the earliest sandhill crane fossil is estimated to be 2.5 million years old. Sandhill cranes stay with their mates for life, which can be over 20 years. 

A Common Poorwill in Great Basin National Park

At dusk and dawn in the summer, it is easiest to hear the call of the common poorwill. Unlike most birds, it hibernates in the winter. 

A Western Gull in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area

The Golden Gate National Recreation Area lies along the Pacific Flyway, a 4,000-mile north to south stretch of land used by migratory birds. Over 250 different types of birds can make their homes at the recreation area throughout the year. The western gull makes its home close to the ocean and likes to nest on cliffs.

A Yellow-Rumped Warbler in Grand Teton National Park

Over 300 bird species make their home in Grand Teton National Park and the surrounding area. Yellow-rumped warblers can most easily be found in the park's lodgepole pine forests and along the park’s Taggart Lake Trail. They have a yellow patch on their rump and white spots on their tails that reveal themselves when they fly. 

A Calliope Hummingbird in Grand Teton National Park

Calliope hummingbirds make their home in the willow flats of Grand Teton National Park where they feed on scarlet gilia near Jackson Lake Lodge. The bird is the smallest in America and, because it spends its winters in Mexico, it is the smallest long-distance migratory bird in the world.

An Osprey in Grand Teton National Park

Ospreys catch fish in the river on the trail to Menor’s Ferry at Grand Teton National Park. During a lifetime, an osprey can travel over 160,000 miles. One was tracked flying 2,700 miles in 13 days from Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, to French Guiana, South Africa. 

A Common Raven in Grand Teton National Park

Common ravens are completely black, including their eyes, legs and beak. They are also incredibly intelligent; some scientists believe they are as smart as wolves and dogs

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