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Species list

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List of species seen

Wild Turkey

The only bird seen was a female in the grasses at Custer State Park

Dusky Grouse

Female on road in conifers along Black Plateau Drive, Yellowstone NP

Chukar Partridge

Antelope Island SP is supposed to hold one of the largest concentrations of this introduced species in the States, and the 2 birds calling around the visitor centre were possibly an indication of this

Canada Goose        

Very common throughout, apart from the day we spent in the Badlands, when none were seen

Gadwall

2 Oxbow Bend, Teton

American Wigeon 

Male on Yellowstone River, Yellowstone NP; 3 Oxbow Bend, Teton

Mallard

Quite common Estes Park; 4 Custer State Park

Green-winged Teal 

Pair Trout Lake, Yellowstone NP; Pair on pool between Tower and Canyon, Yellowstone NP

Ring-necked Duck 

16 in pairs on Lily Lake, route 7 South of Estes Park

Lesser Scaup 

10 on Lake Yellowstone, Yellowstone NP

Harlequin Duck 

A very pleasant surprise was finding a group of 4 fully plumaged males together at the LeHardy's rapids on the Yellowstone River. They were happy to stay in one small area of the swiftly flowing waters while we watched them in the water and on the rocks

Barrow's Goldeneye

All goldeneye seen were of this species. The males and females generally seemed to have found their own groups, with a large group of drakes on a lagoon near the Yellowstone Lake West Thumb, and only females above Trout Lake, Yellowstone NP. (Group of 22 on Lake adjoining Yellowstone Lake, and further ~10 on Yellowstone River, Yellowstone NP; 1 on small pool near Continental Divide, Yellowstone NP; 5 females on Trout Lake, Yellowstone NP)

Common Merganser

Group of 4 on Yellowstone River, Yellowstone NP; Female on river along Blacktail Plateau Drive, Yellowstone NP

Ruddy Duck

5 on pond towards end of Blacktail Plateau drive, Yellowstone NP

Black-necked Grebe 

~80 off Antelope Island SP causeway

Great Blue Heron 

1 in river on journey from Rapid City to West Yellowstone; 1 in river, Yellowstone NP

American White Pelican

~6 on small lake to South of Sage Creek Road, Badlands ; 1 in Yellowstone River, Yellowstone NP; 3 over, and 3 on river near Jackson Lake Junction, Teton

Double-crested Cormorant

1 Oxbow Bend, Teton

Turkey Vulture

The only location which seemed to lack these was within Yellowstone NP; 1 Rocky Mountain NP; ~15 Estes Park; 4 Custer State Park; ~20 Badlands NP; 3 on route from Yellowstone NP to Salt Lake City, in Idaho 

Western Osprey

3 near to West Yellowstone; 1 caught fish next to midway geyser basin, Yellowstone NP; 1 Teton, 1 on way to West exit, Yellowstone NP; Adult on nest, Blacktail Plateau Drive, Yellowstone NP

Bald Eagle

1 over Fisherman’s Bridge, Yellowstone NP;  1 caused jam, on way to West exit, Yellowstone NP; 1 perched on tree next to river towards West Entrance, Yellowstone NP (The latter 2 birds may have been the same individual seen on consecutive days)

Swainson's Hawk

1 Custer State Park

Red-tailed Hawk

1 over Estes Park; 2 separate birds over blacktail plateau drive, Yellowstone NP; 6 Lamar Valley & Blacktail Plateau Drive, Yellowstone NP                    ~12 over roads on route from Yellowstone NP to Salt Lake City

Ferruginous Hawk

1 over Estes Park

Golden Eagle

Adult at nest containing at least 1 immature, Slough Creek, Yellowstone NP

American Kestrel 

2 on journey from Estes Park to Rapid City; 1 at Potholes Turnout, Teton; 6 hunting along Interstate from Yellowstone NP to Salt Lake City

Prairie Falcon

1 circling low over Estes Park; 1 over Prairie Dog town, Badlands NP

Sora

1 on pond Lamar Valley, Yellowstone NP

American Coot

1 Lily Lake, en route 7 South from Estes Park; 1 Moose lookout, Willson Road, Teton; Few birds in occasional pools, Lamar Valley & Blacktail Plateau Drive, Yellowstone NP

Sandhill Crane

2 north of roaring plateau, Yellowstone NP;  2 on meadow above Lamar Valley

American Avocet 

~150 along Antelope Island SP causeway

Long-billed Curlew

3 in field next to road en route from Yellowstone NP to Salt Lake City 

Spotted Sandpiper

Pair on Lake Estes, Estes Park; Pair and separate bird on small rivers, Yellowstone NP; 1 on Trout Lake, Yellowstone NP

Franklin's Gull

3 Antelope Island SP causeway

California Gull

Abundant Antelope Island SP causeway and some over the island

Mourning Dove

~10 Rocky Mountain NP; ~20 Badlands NP; 3 over road en route from Yellowstone NP to Salt Lake City

White-throated Swift

The only bird seen was a flypast over Badlands NP

Broad-tailed Hummingbird

A common sound in the Estes Park area was that of the trilling made the males of this species. Many were sunsequently easy to see, being more intent on territory possession and occasional conflict than human approach. (1 seen, more heard Rocky Mountain NP; Very commonly heard (trilling sound made by tail feathers) Estes Park, ~8 of which were also seen)

Belted Kingfisher

1 on river between North entrance and Mammoth, Yellowstone NP

Williamson's Sapsucker

1 above Trout Lake, Yellowstone NP 

Northern Flicker

2 separate birds, Teton

Say's Phoebe

1 on Cliff Shelf Trail, 1 on Door Trail, Badlands NP

Cordilleran Flycatcher

The 2 birds seen in Custer State Park were possibly juveniles from the same brood. The shape of the eye ring to the rear was a great help in identification, with both birds a lot less yellowish than was expected. (2 Sylvan Lake Custer State Park; 1 at Elk Overlook, Teton NP)

Western Kingbird

~20 embassy suites, Denver; 3 Lusk rest Stop; ~12 Badlands NP

Eastern Kingbird 

1 along route 502, Badlands NP; 1 at rest stop in Wyoming

Loggerhead Shrike

1 along Badlands Loop Road, Badlands NP

Steller's Jay 

The sightings of single birds in different days at the roadside stop just outside of Estes Park may have been of the same individual

Black-billed Magpie

1 journey Denver to Rocky Mountain NP, 5 Rocky Mountain NP; ~8 seen, + 1 pair with 2 immatures, Estes Park (latter next to Lake Estes); 1 Custer State Park; 1 Cliff Shelf Trail car park; 4 separate individuals on journey from Rapid City to West Yellowstone; 2 Lamar Valley, Yellowstone NP; 4 Salt Lake City area

Clark's Nutcracker

1 just outside of Estes, 1at Many Parks Curve, Rocky Mountain NP; 1 above Trout Lake, Yellowstone NP

American Crow

1 at roadside stop just South of Estes Park on route 36; 4 Estes park to Rapid City; 3 Custer State Park; 2 singles, Badlands NP; 2 Yellowstone NP; 1 Lamar Valley, Yellowstone NP; ~12 Salt Lake City area

Northern Raven

~6 Rocky Mountain NP; ~12 Yellowstone NP, including 6 within West Yellowstone; ~10 Teton; ~15 Yellowstone NP; ~6 Lamar Valley, Yellowstone NP

Black-capped Chickadee

1 heard at Sylvan Lake Custer State Park

Mountain Chickadee

1 Lake Estes, Estes Park; 1 Jenny Lake overlook, Teton; 1 Trout Lake, Yellowstone NP

Shorelark

3 Rocky Mountain NP; 2 at junction of Rim Road and route 502, Badlands NP

Tree Swallow

1 Custer State Park; Pair on dead trees next to Painted Pots trail; Common Jenny Lake Visitor Centre, Teton; Few Lamar Valley, Yellowstone NP

Violet-green Swallow 

An unexpectedly common bird in many of the areas visited. (1 Rocky Mountain NP, very common Estes Park; 1 over Sylvan Lake Custer State Park; Very common within West Yellowstone; Common Jenny Lake Visitor Centre, Teton; Common Yellowstone NP)

Barn Swallow

Fairly common Estes Park Nesting colony at Antelope Island SP visitor centre

American Cliff Swallow

This species seems to have taken to nesting under man made bridges, and could be very common in many areas where they have founded large colonies. (~4 Estes Park; Common under road bridges Estes park to Rapid City; Common Badlands NP, where they were nesting under ledges; Common under bridges Yellowstone NP & Teton; Colonies nesting under restroom eaves and natural small cliffs, Lamar Valley, Yellowstone NP; Few birds amongst Barn Swallows at Antelope Island SP visitor centre

Ruby-crowned Kinglet

The bird seen was singing and even showed off the ruby crown which spawned its name (Jenny Lake Visitor Centre, Teton)

Rock Wren 

Quite a few of the birds in the Badlands were singing from exposed rocky perches; 2 in front of Antelope Island SP visitor centre

Pygmy Nuthatch

1 in conifers next to meadow in Rocky Mountain NP

Red-breasted Nuthatch

Flock of ~4 Jenny Lake Overlook & 1 Jenny Lake Visitor Centre, Teton

Northern Mockingbird

3 on Antelope Island SP

Sage Thrasher 

1 singing Lamar Valley, Yellowstone NP

Common Starling

~6 Estes Park; ~10 Yellowstone NP

Mountain Bluebird

An unexpected number of these were seen in the northern part of the trip. (Pair building nest at Alpine Visitor Centre, Rocky Mountain NP; Male next to Fall River, Rocky Mountain NP; Male next to Fall River, Rocky Mountain NP; Pair using nest box by road through Custer State Park; 2 males and a female Badlands NP; Female next to Old Faithful, Yellowstone NP; Pair Mammoth terraces, pair artists paint pots, Yellowstone NP; 1 Elk Creek, Yellowstone NP; 1 male en route from Yellowstone NP to Salt Lake City

American Robin

Very common almost everywhere; 2 Embassy Suites, Denver; ~4 Rocky Mountain NP; Very common Estes Park; Pair Lusk rest Stop; Common Custer State Park; ~8 Yellowstone NP; Quite common Teton; Common Lamar Valley, Yellowstone NP

House Sparrow 

Quite common Estes Park

Buff-bellied Pipit

~3 Rocky Mountain NP 

Pine Siskin

2 Custer State Park; 5 Yellowstone NP

House Finch

3 Discovery Lodge, Estes; ~20 Estes Park

Red Crossbill

A large group of 20-30 birds were passing through the Norbeck rest stop in Custer State Park. Initially seen feeding on pine cones, many were then found in groups on rocks below

American Yellow Warbler 

1 Oxbow Bend & 1 Jenny Lake Visitor Centre, Teton

Audubon's Warbler 

Common around Trout Lake, Lamar Valley, Yellowstone NP

Bullock's Oriole

Female Embassy Suites, Denver

Brown-headed Cowbird 

1 adult and 1 juvenile Badlands NP; 2 and 1 juvenile Yellowstone NP; Common Teton; Quite common North Loop, Yellowstone NP

Red-winged Blackbird

2 at small marsh, Rocky Mountain NP; 2 Lily Lake; 4 Rocky Mountain NP; ~20 Custer State Park; Common grassland and Badlands NP; ~8 Teton

Brewer's Blackbird 

~10 Embassy Suites, Denver; Common Lamar Valley, Yellowstone NP; Nesting birds around Gardiner; Common Salt Lake City area

Common Grackle

Common Estes Park; Common Estes park to Rapid City; Common Custer State Park; Fairly common grassland and Badlands NP

Western Meadowlark

2 singing Embassy Suites, Denver; 1 singing Lusk rest stop; 4 Custer State Park; Common grassland and Badlands NP; 1 singing, Lamar Valley, Yellowstone NP; 2 singing Antelope Island SP

Yellow-headed Blackbird

1 flew over road at start of Antelope Island SP causeway

Lark Bunting

~8 males Estes park to Rapid City; 2 grassland, and ~5 Badlands NP, along route 502 and 590

Song Sparrow

1 singing at Oxbow Bend, Tetons NP

White-crowned Sparrow

Pair in West Yellowstone, 1singing next to Old Faithful, Yellowstone NP; 1 singing Artists paint pots, Yellowstone NP

Dark-eyed Junco

2 races were seen - the very dark white winged were in the Estes Park area, and Pink-sided around Trout Lake in Yellowstone NP. (Common in upper reaches of Custer State Park, particularly Norbeck rest stop along Needles route, of White-winged race; Common around Trout Lake, Yellowstone NP, of Pink-sided race) 

Chipping Sparrow

1 Cliff Shelf trail, Badlands NP; 1 singing next to Old Faithful, Yellowstone NP; 2 Moose Overlook, Willson Road, Teton; 1 singing artists paint pots, Yellowstone NP; ~12 around Slough Creek & Trout Lake, Yellowstone NP; 2 at rest stop, Idaho, en route from Yellowstone NP to Salt Lake City 

Brewer's Sparrow 

2 separate birds singing Lamar Valley, Yellowstone NP - one at Slough Creek, and one near Coyote lair at valley

Lark Sparrow

1 singing Lusk rest Stop; 2 Custer State Park

Green-tailed Towhee

1 Rocky Mountain NP

Spotted Towhee

1 on fence along Sage Creek Road, Badlands NP

Western Tanager

1 near to Madison, Yellowstone NP; Pair Mammoth terraces, 1 Blacktail plateau drive, Yellowstone NP; 3 birds around Trout Lake, Yellowstone NP

Blue Grosbeak

2 males along route 502, Badlands NP 

             List of Mammal species seen

Red Squirrel

The 2 sightings of this species may have been of the same individual, at a roadside stop on route 36 just South of Estes Park

Black-tailed Prairie Dog

A most amusing and captivating animal, forming very large "towns" on open grassland. The largest of these was in the Badlands, where the colony seemed to stretch over 2 miles. (2 small "towns" along wildlife trail through Custer State Park; Large "town" about 2 miles long Badlands NP) 

Yellow-bellied Marmot

~12 Rocky Mountain National Park

Uinta Ground Squirrel

Colony in Lamar Valley, Yellowstone National Park, 3 centre of Mammoth Hot Springs, Yellowstone National Park 

Wyoming Ground Squirrel Very common around Estes Park

Golden-mantled Ground Squirrel

6 roadside stop on route 36 just South of Estes Park

Least Chipmunk

~5 at roadside stop on route 36 just South of Estes Park ; 1 Sylvan Lake Custer State Park; 1 Badlands NP (light coloured desert variation); 1 Trout Lake, Yellowstone National Park

Coyote

1 on main road from Madison to Old Faithful, Yellowstone National Park; Den with 4 cubs, and presumed parent in vicinity hunting ground squirrels, Lamar Valley, Yellowstone National Park; 1 on road just East of Mammoth Hot Springs, Yellowstone National Park; 1 near to Canyon junction, Yellowstone National Park; 1 Antelope Island SP

Wolf

These were reintroduced into the park in the mid 1990's, after extermination over 100 years earlier. A clutch of monitored packs now roam free, but can be difficult to track down. We enlisted the help of Wolftracker.com in this task. (2 on distant hill, and 2 black individuals from same pack behind us at Slough Creek, Yellowstone National Park) 

Red Fox

1 on road on exiting near Mammoth Lakes, Yellowstone National Park

American Black Bear

The short stretch along the few miles of Black Plateau Drive, towards the junction to the Lamar Valley, in Yellowstone National Park, seems to be a hot spot for sightings. This included a mother with 1-2 cubs which was faithful to Elk Creek while we were there. (2 mothers with cubs, and young cub lacktail Plateau drive; Yellowstone National Park;1 black adult from Blacktail Plateau Drive; 1 brown adult in glade above Trout Lake, and same parent at Elk Creek as yesterday, Yellowstone National Park

Brown Bear

Mother with 2 cubs on slopes high above Lamar Valley, Yellowstone National Park

American Badger

1 near bridge over Lamar River, Lamar Valley, Yellowstone National Park

Moose

2 near Jackson Lake junction & female with calf Willson Road, Teton

Elk

~24 Estes and lower Rocky Mountain National Park (1 only higher slopes); ~20 around Estes Park; 2 males, and 3 separate females, Yellowstone National Park; 3 males, 1 separate male, and 2 females North Loop of Yellowstone National Park; Large herd just outside and also within Mammoth, Yellowstone National Park

Mule Deer 

1 on route 7 South of Estes Park; 2 very early, Blacktail Plateau Drive, Yellowstone National Park; 2 Antelope Island SP

White-tailed Deer 

2 at west entrance of Custer State Park

Pronghorn

Strangely, the greatest count of these antelope was on the journey from Rapid City to Yellowstone. (~25 journey from Estes Park to Rapid City; ~10 Custer State Park; Regularly seen on journey from Rapid City to West Yellowstone; 1 Teton; ~8 on North Loop, Yellowstone National Park; ~20 in Lamar Valley, Yellowstone National Park; 2 Antelope Island SP

American Bison

After the first few are seen, the temptation is to become a bit blase about them, since they are regularly seen in singles up to large herds throughout the parks.(4 herds and a few extra line or small groups in Custer State Park; Large herd north of the Rim road on the plains at Badlands NP; 2 herds and several in singles or smaller numbers, mainly Hayden Valley, Yellowstone National Park; 2 herds Teton from Gros Ventre Road & on Antelope Flats; Scattered herds along Lamar Valley, Yellowstone National Park ; Common in Lamar Valley, Yellowstone National Park; large herd Antelope Island SP)

Mountain Goat

1 on cliff face SW of Norris, Yellowstone National Park

Bighorn Sheep

3 groups Badlands NP - 1 of a bachelor group of 6 males, the other families with young numbering ~30 including the lambs; 2 on rocks just below Mammoth Hot Springs, Yellowstone National Park

 

Home

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Content

Introduction

Rockies

Dakota

Yellowstone

Wolves

Tetons

Species list

Text only