Wyoming’s 6 Best Bird Watching Spots This Summer

Written by Abdulmumin Akinde
Updated: October 6, 2022
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If you’re an outdoor enthusiast, natural habitats relatively undisturbed by human populations are among the best locations to explore. The large size of Wyoming and its low population means it fits the bill as far as this criterion is concerned. The famous Yellowstone National Park is in Wyoming. This is just one of several national parks and pristine outdoor areas in the Cowboy State that provide great opportunities to observe nature at its finest. If you’re looking to explore Wyoming’s best bird-watching spots, you will find many great options. This post details some of the best locations to explore to find resting and migrant bird species in Wyoming. 

Yellowstone National Park 

Expectedly, Yellowstone National Park tops the list of Wyoming’s best bird watching spots. Covering up to 2,200,000 acres, this world-renowned park has no shortage of great birding spots. Up to 280 bird species have been spotted at this park, and about 150 nest permanently in the area. 

This park is one of the most popular in the entire country, with wildlife of various kinds to explore. The park offers diverse habitats ranging from riparian woodlands, coniferous forests, open valleys, and rocky rivers. The different habitats of Yellowstone are teeming with birds, and several species not native to the area stop over here during specific seasons of the year. 

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Common birds to see at Yellowstone National Park: 

Great Blue Heron and 2 baby chicks in the nest.
Great Blue Herons have excellent day and night vision. The latter helps them in their migration, which usually starts at night.

©Wolf Mountain Images/Shutterstock.com

Grand Teton National Park

The Grand Teton National Park, located in northwest Wyoming, is home to sixty species of mammals and more than 300 bird species. Although there are various habitats in the area, the rugged mountains of this National Park are the most famous because of the rare upper-elevation birds that are abundant there. 

However, in the park, you can see several other bird varieties in the sagebrush flats, alpine meadows, freshwater streams, marshes, and woodlands. Take a while to hike along the upper and middle slopes of the park or look out for specific spots like Taggart Lake, Grand View Point, Christain Pond, Willow Flats, Cascade Canyon, and other locations where different bird species tend to congregate. 

Common birds to see at the Grand Teton National Park:

sandhill cranes courting in tall grasses
Sandhill Cranes are known for their courtship dance, which involves jumping up in the air and flapping their wings.

©iStock.com/GummyBone

Seedskadee National Wildlife Refuge

This 27,230-acre wildlife refuge in Southwestern Wyoming is home to more than 222 species of animals, including several birds, mammals, and reptiles. The sanctuary is located along the Green River and has different landscapes and natural habitats where nesting birds can make their home. In addition, there’s a vibrant riparian habitat around the river. Away from this wetland area, you’ll also find upland shrub habitats for various birds. 

Greater sage grouse is the most popular bird species to watch out for in this wildlife area. They mate and nest in various locations around the refuge, and you can spot them from spring to fall season. There’s a thriving trumpeter swan population here, as well as numerous migratory birds, especially waterfowl and shorebirds

Common birds to see at the Seedskadee National Wildlife Refuge 

Mountain Bluebird sitting on a branch
Some Native Americans consider the Mountain Bluebird’s feathers to be sacred.

©MTKhaled mahmud/Shutterstock.com

Keyhole State Park

Located in northeastern Wyoming, the 14,700 acres state park is one of the most popular birding destinations in Wyoming. It is also one of the largest state parks in the State, with lots of areas to explore. 

There’s a large reservoir that hosts several waterbirds. They’re also wetland habitats where you can see various wading birds and shore birds. The park also offers woodlands and grassland habitats home to different birds. 

Common birds to see at the Keyhole State Park: 

  • Wild Turkey
  • Western Grebe
  • American White Pelican
  • American Avocet
  • Upland Sandpiper
  • Western Wood-Pewee
  • Western Kingbird
  • Eastern Kingbird
  • Black-Billed Magpie
  • Horned Lark
  • Mountain Bluebird
  • Yellow-Warbler
  • Brewer’s Sparrow
  • Lark Sparrow
  • Vesper Sparrow

The Red Desert

A combination of shifting dunes, canyons, and vibrant badlands might not sound like a great birding destination, but Wyoming’s red desert is home to several bird species. There are more than 350 wildlife varieties that call this desert home. 

The pristine sagebrush habitat is one of this area’s most notable birding habitats. It is an excellent spot for breeding, foraging, and nesting birds. It is also a popular stopover spot for migrating sagebrush species. In addition, you’ll also find some water birds around the temporary ponds formed by snowmelt.

Common birds to see at The Red Desert:

Largest Eagles in the World: Golden Eagle
Golden Eagles have an average wingspan of 7.2 feet.

©Vladimir Kogan Michael/Shutterstock.com

Hutton National Wildlife Refuge

The Hutton National Wildlife Refuge has it all. From the sprawling mountains of southwest Wyoming to different grasslands, marshlands, and lacustrine areas, finding a perfect birding spot in this 1,968 acres refuge should be a total breeze. Raptors are here all year round, and many waterfowls visit the area in droves as a stopover point for their migratory flight. 

A single hiking trail loops around the entire refuge. The 2.6 miles trail passes through a gentle terrain, and you can explore the different birds and animals in this refuge by simply exploring the areas around the trail. You can also venture off the trail and explore other areas of the park to find different unique bird species. 

Common birds to see at the Hutton National Wildlife Refuge:

  • Swainson’s Hawk
  • Golden Eagle
  • Black-Crowned Night Heron
  • Prairie Falcon
  • Forster’s Tern
  • Pied-Billed Grebe
  • Northern Harrier
  • Eared Grebe
  • Black-Necked Stilts
  • McCown’s Longspur
  • Horned Lark
  • Virginia Rail
  • Ferruginous Hawk
Large Ferruginous Hawk in attack mode with blue sky.
Ferruginous Hawks’ name comes from the Latin word ferrum, which means iron, due to the rusty red of their feathers.

©Stephen Mcsweeny/Shutterstock.com

Conclusion 

You can find more than 400 bird species in Wyoming. But what makes the state such a great birding destination isn’t just the numerous bird species. It’s the abundance of great birding destinations from where you can explore the abundance of birds that Wyoming has to offer. The spots in the list are some of Wyoming’s best bird watching spots you can check out when next you’re in the state. 

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About the Author

Abdulmumin is a pharmacist and a top-rated content writer who can pretty much write on anything that can be researched on the internet. However, he particularly enjoys writing about animals, nature, and health. He loves animals, especially horses, and would love to have one someday.

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Sources
  1. Bird Informer, Available here: https://www.birdinformer.com/birding-wyoming/
  2. Travel Wyoming, Available here: https://travelwyoming.com/article/wyomings-best-birding-spots
  3. Audubon, Available here: https://www.audubon.org/news/birding-wyoming