Go Birding in Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, and Utah

The beautiful trumpeter swans are the largest North American waterfowl and the world’s heaviest flying birds. Great birding abounds in Wyoming, Utah, Montana, and Idaho
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Trumpeter Swan. Photo by Jeff Vanuga

Trumpeter Swan photo by Jeff Vanuga

Montana's Trumpeter Swans

Montana is home to the largest population of trumpeter swans in the Lower 48. The beautiful trumpeter swans are the largest North American waterfowl and the world’s heaviest flying birds. See them at the Red Rock Lakes National Wildlife Refuge. To get there, turn off I-15 near the Idaho border at Monida and drive 28 miles east on an improved gravel road.

In Montana, Warm Springs Ponds is a wetland environment that provides habitat for resident and migrating waterfowl.

Wyoming's Seedskadee National Wildlife Refuge

In Wyoming, birders should spend some time at Seedskadee National Wildlife Refuge, located about 30 miles southwest of Farson on Highway 28 or 30 miles north of Green River on Highway 372. This riparian habitat along the Green River supports mountain bluebirds, sage thrashers and sage sparrows, plus more than 220 other species. Sandhill cranes gather here in the fall.

Along Wyoming’s Snowy Range Scenic Byway, which stretches through the Medicine Bow-Routt National Forest and is open from late May until October, watch for Townsend’s solitaire, mountain chickadees and cordilleran flycatchers.

Mountain Chickadee in Wyoming

Mountain chickadee, Poecile gambeli, looking angry in Wyoming. By Kati Fleming (Own work) [CC-BY-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Birding inside Yellowstone and Grand Teton

Inside Yellowstone Park, many species of birds can also be seen, including trumpeter swans, osprey, eagles, gray jays, Clark’s nutcracker, mountain chickadees, American dippers, rosy finches, great gray owls, white pelicans, common ravens, and, if you’re lucky, peregrine falcons.

We recommend the book Birds of Yellowstone by Terry McEneaney for in-depth information that will assist you when birding in Yellowstone.

Birds are abundant in Grand Teton National Park. Watch for bald eagles along the Snake River and at Oxbow Bend, as well as black rosy finch. You may also spot owls, trumpeter swans, pelicans and the three-toed woodpecker. Look for waterfowl on the gorgeous Jackson Lake. We recommend Birds of Grand Teton National Park by Bert Raynes, available from the Grand Teton Natural History Association.

Parade Rest Guest Ranch, in West Yellowstone, is the birding headquarters for Yellowstone Park and the unique Hebgen Lake area. You can spot more than 75 different species of birds amidst the ranch buildings, corrals and creeks.

Idaho's Parks with Good Birding

In Idaho, birders will want to get their binocs out at Bear Lake State Park, where birders will see nesting mallards, pintails and canvasback ducks, as well as sandhill cranes, blue herons, egrets, Canada geese and white pelicans.

Harriman State Park also provides great birding. The Henry’s Fork of the Snake River meanders through this park, and one-third of the Rocky Mountain trumpeter swan population winters here.

Sandhill Cranes in Idaho

These Sandhill Cranes pictured in Colorado, nest primarily in Montana, Idaho and Wyoming and spend winters in New Mexico, Arizona, and Mexico. By USFWS Mountain-Prairie (Flickr: Sandhill Cranes) [CC-BY-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Utah Birding

In Davis County, Utah, mark your calendars for the annual Great Salt Lake Bird Festival, held each year in mid-May. For more information visit davisareacvb.com or call (888) 777-9771.

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Yellowstone Wildlife Field Guide: Birds

Happily, many species of birds in Yellowstone today are success stories, having come back from zero or very low population levels just a few decades ago. Good examples are the osprey, bald eagle, and most recently, the peregrine falcon.

Marbeled Godwit at the Benton Lake National Wildlife Refuge.

Montana Wildlife Refuges

21 wildlife refuges call Montana home protecting birds, bison, elk, and moose. Benton Lake is a shorebird site. Red Rock Lakes is 45 mins from the Park.

Virginia City, Montana. Photo by Donnie Sexton

Visit a Ghost Town in Montana, Wyoming or Idaho

Visit the Yellowstone Park area for quaint ghost towns with empty streets, weathered buildings, tumbling tumbleweeds and abandoned mines.

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Go Skiing & Boarding Near Yellowstone

The greater Yellowstone region boasts several world-class mountain resorts.

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Pan for Gold in Montana and Wyoming Near Yellowstone

Don’t miss Gold Rush Days and hunting for treasures in the historic gold and sapphire mining towns of Wyoming and Montana when you travel to Yellowstone.

Idaho Museum of Natural History

Idaho Museums

Visit the Rexburg Teton Flood Museum and the Idaho Museum of Natural History.

Trail End State Historic Site, Sheridan, Wyomin

Wyoming Museums

Great museums to visit on your Yellowstone vacation from the Buffalo Bill Historical Center to the Teton Flood Museum and everything in between. Wyoming museums in Casper, Meeteetse, Cheyenne, Gillette, Evanston, Dubois, and Jackson Hole.

Utah Field House Dinosaur Garden in Vernal. Photo by InSapphoWeTrust

Utah Museums

Visit museums in Salt Lake City an Vernal for planetariums, dinosaur history, and western heritage exhibits.

Sunrise over Fishercap Lake in Glacier National Park. Photo by Adam Jewell

Glacier National Park in Montana

Nicknamed the "Crown of the Continent," Glacier National Park sits in the northwest corner of Montana, just a scenic day’s drive north from Yellowstone.