Winter Birding in Yellowstone

Four-footed furry creatures aren't the only inhabitants of Yellowstone's harsh winters; many birds manage to make Yellowstone their year-round residence as well. Along open waterways, look for the American Bald Eagle and the Trumpeter Swan. Also easily spotted in winter are the Barrow's Goldeneye and the Lesser Scaup.

In the woodlands environment the loud croaking "KRA-A-A" of the Clark's Nutcracker echoes through the trees. Expect to be visited by the Gray Jay, aptly nicknamed the "camp robber baron" because of its lack of fear of humans. Keep an eye out for energetic woodland songbirds such as the Mountain Chickadee, the Red Breasted Nuthatch, and the Rosy Finch. Hairy woodpeckers can be seen extracting insect larvae from the bark of trees.

Perhaps the most interesting bird to watch in Yellowstone's harsh winter is the one-of-a-kind American Dipper, also known as the water ousel. Despite frigid waters, this robin-sized bird repeatedly walks along the bottoms of rushing streams to ferret out choice water insects hidden beneath the stream's pebbles.