Friday, May 18, 2012

Spring is the Time for Birds in Yellowstone

Late spring is a great time for birds most everywhere in the northern hemisphere, and Yellowstone National Park is no exception. Karyn and I just returned from the park a few days ago and here is a highlight of what we observed.

Mountain Bluebird. Slough Creek. Yellowstone National Park.
Loggerhead Shrike. Lamar Valley. Yellowstone National Park.
Townsend's Solitaire. Lamar Valley. Yellowstone National Park.
Savannah Sparrow. Slough Creek. Yellowstone National Park.
Lark Sparrow. Lamar Valley. Yellowstone National Park.
Pink-sided Dark-eyed Junco. Garnet Hill. Yellowstone National Park.

But it was not all about songbirds. There are many raptors in the park as well. We reported 60 sightings to the Yellowstone Raptor Initiative. This list consisted of only our first sightings of a particular species in a given area. We observed occupied nests for Bald Eagles (2), Red-tailed Hawks (3), Osprey (2), and many paired up American Kestrels.

Bald Eagle just captured a Uinta Ground Squirrel. Lamar Valley. Yellowstone National Park.
Red-tailed Hawk dispute. Lamar Valley. Yellowstone National Park.
Red-tailed Hawk and Golden Eagle. Garnet Hill. Yellowstone National Park.
Osprey. Lamar Valley. Yellowstone National Park.

The list of bird families continued with some other of my favorites. The Harlequin Ducks weren't at their usual hangout, but we were lucky enough to spot them on our way into the park.

Harlequin Ducks. Madison River. Yellowstone National Park.
Eared Grebe. Trout Lake. Yellowstone National Park.
Spotted Sandpiper. Slough Creek. Yellowstone National Park.
Sandhill Crane. Blacktail Plateau. Yellowstone National Park.

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