List of birds of Yellowstone National Park

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This list of birds of Yellowstone National Park includes every wild bird species reported in Yellowstone National Park in the last 50 years. Since its creation in March, 1872, 318 species of birds have been documented in the park.[1]

Only birds that are considered to have established, self-sustaining, wild populations in Yellowstone are included on this list. This means that birds that are considered probable escapees, although they may have been sighted flying free in Yellowstone, are not included. This list is presented in taxonomic order and follows The Check-list of North American Birds (7th edition, 1998) published by the American Ornithologists' Union. The family accounts at the beginning of each heading reflect this taxonomy, as do the species counts found in each family account.[2]


As listed in the Checklist of the Birds of Yellowstone National Park:[1]

  • I - Introduced species that are not native to North America, but were brought to this continent by humans.
  • B - Breeders, species known to have nested or produced dependent young in Yellowstone in recent years.
  • * - Less than 20 documented records of this species exist in Yellowstone over the last 50 years.
  • + - The Yellowstone Center For Resources welcomes additional information regarding this species.
  • N - Neotropical migrants, birds known to spend the summer season in temperate North America and winter in the Neotropics (i.e., the area of the New World that lies south of Central Mexico and Cuba and north of northern Argentina and southern Brazil).

Ducks, geese and swans[edit]

Order: Anseriformes   Family: Anatidae

The family Anatidae includes the ducks and most duck-like waterfowl, such as geese and swans. These birds are adapted to an aquatic existence with webbed feet, bills which are flattened to a greater or lesser extent, and feathers that are excellent at shedding water due to special oils. There are 35 Yellowstone species.[2]

Common name Binomial Status
Greater white-fronted goose Anser albifrons *N
Snow goose Chen caerulescens +
Ross's goose Chen rossii *
Brant Branta bernicla *
Canada goose Branta canadensis B
Cackling goose Branta hutchinsii
Trumpeter swan Cygnus buccinator B
Whooper swan Cygnus cygnus *
Wood duck Aix sponsa *
Gadwall Anas strepera BN
Eurasian wigeon Anas penelope *
American wigeon Anas americana BN
American black duck Anas rubripes *
Mallard Anas platyrhynchos BN
Blue-winged teal Anas discors BN
Cinnamon teal Anas cyanoptera BN
Northern shoveler Anas clypeata BN
Northern pintail Anas acuta BN
Green-winged teal Anas crecca BN
Canvasback Aythya valisineria BN
Redhead Aythya americana BN
Ring-necked duck Aythya collaris BN
Greater scaup Aythya marila *
Lesser scaup Aythya affinis BN
Harlequin duck Histrionicus histrionicus B
Surf scoter Melanitta perspicillata *
White-winged scoter Melanitta fusca *
Black scoter Melanitta americana *
Long-tailed duck Clangula hyemalis *
Bufflehead Bucephala albeola BN
Barrow's goldeneye Bucephala islandica B
Hooded merganser Lophodytes cucullatus +
Common merganser Mergus merganser B
Red-breasted merganser Mergus serrator +N
Ruddy duck Oxyura jamaicensis BN

Partridges, grouse, turkeys and quail[edit]

Order: Galliformes   Family: Phasianidae

Phasianidae consists of the pheasants and their allies. These are terrestrial species, variable in size but generally plump with broad relatively short wings. Many species are gamebirds or have been domesticated as a food source for humans. There are 5 Yellowstone species.[2]

Common name Binomial Status
Chukar Alectoris chukar *I
Gray partridge Perdix perdix B+I
Ruffed grouse Bonasa umbellus B
Dusky grouse Dendragapus obscurus B
Wild turkey Meleagris galopavo *


Order: Gaviiformes   Family: Gaviidae

Loons are aquatic birds the size of a large duck, to which they are unrelated. Their plumage is largely gray or black, and they have spear-shaped bills. Loons swim well and fly adequately, but are almost hopeless on land, because their legs are placed towards the rear of the body. There are 3 Yellowstone species.[2]

Common name Binomial Status
Red-throated loon Gavia stellata *
Pacific loon Gavia pacifica +
Common loon Gavia immer B


Order: Podicipediformes   Family: Podicipedidae

Grebes are small to medium-large freshwater diving birds. They have lobed toes and are excellent swimmers and divers. However, they have their feet placed far back on the body, making them quite ungainly on land. There are 6 Yellowstone species.[2]

Common name Binomial Status
Pied-billed grebe Podilymbus podiceps BN
Horned grebe Podiceps auritus +N
Red-necked grebe Podiceps grisegena B+
Eared grebe Podiceps nigricollis B
Western grebe Aechmophorus occidentalis N
Clark's grebe Aechmophorus clarkii *N


Double-crested cormorant

Order: Suliformes   Family: Phalacrocoracidae

Cormorants are medium-to-large aquatic birds, usually with mainly dark plumage and areas of colored skin on the face. The bill is long, thin and sharply hooked. Their feet are four-toed and webbed, a distinguishing feature among the Pelecaniformes order. There is 1 Yellowstone species.[2]

Common name Binomial Status
Double-crested cormorant Phalacrocorax auritus B


Order: Pelecaniformes   Family: Pelecanidae

Pelicans are very large water birds with a distinctive pouch under their beak. Like other birds in the order Pelecaniformes, they have four webbed toes. There is 1 Yellowstone species.[2]

Common name Binomial Status
American white pelican Pelecanus erythrorhynchos BN

Bitterns, herons and egrets[edit]

Order: Pelecaniformes   Family: Ardeidae

The family Ardeidae contains the herons, egrets and bitterns. Herons and egrets are medium to large wading birds with long necks and legs. Bitterns tend to be shorter necked and more secretive. Members of Ardeidae fly with their necks retracted, unlike other long-necked birds such as storks, ibises and spoonbills. There are eight Yellowstone species.[2]

Common name Binomial Status
American bittern Botaurus lentiginosus B*N
Great blue heron Ardea herodias B
Great egret Ardea alba *N
Snowy egret Egretta thula *N
Tricolored heron Egretta tricolor *N
Cattle egret Bubulcus ibis *N
Green heron Butorides virescens *N
Black-crowned night heron Nycticorax nycticorax *N

Ibises and spoonbills[edit]

Order: Pelecaniformes   Family: Threskiornithidae

The family Threskiornithidae includes the ibises and spoonbills. They have long, broad wings. Their bodies tend to be elongated, the neck more so, with rather long legs. The bill is also long, decurved in the case of the ibises, straight and distinctively flattened in the spoonbills. There are two Yellowstone species.[2]

Common name Binomial Status
Glossy ibis Plegadis falcinellus *
White-faced ibis Plegadis chihi *N


Order: Ciconiiformes   Family: Ciconiidae

Storks are large, heavy, long-legged, long-necked wading birds with long stout bills and wide wingspans. They lack the powder down that other wading birds such as herons, spoonbills and ibises use to clean off fish slime. Storks lack a pharynx and are mute. There is 1 Yellowstone species.[2]

Common name Binomial Status
Wood stork Mycteria americana *N

New World vultures[edit]

Order: Cathartiformes   Family: Cathartidae

The New World vultures are not closely related to Old World vultures, but superficially resemble them because of convergent evolution. Like the Old World vultures, they are scavengers, however, unlike Old World vultures, which find carcasses by sight, New World vultures have a good sense of smell with which they locate carcasses. There is 1 Yellowstone species.[2]

Common name Binomial Status
Turkey vulture Cathartes aura +N


Order: Accipitriformes   Family: Pandionidae

Common name Binomial Status
Osprey Pandion haliaetus BN

Hawks, kites and eagles[edit]

Order: Accipitriformes   Family: Accipitridae

Accipitridae is a family of birds of prey, which includes hawks, eagles, kites, harriers and Old World vultures. These birds have very large powerful hooked beaks for tearing flesh from their prey, strong legs, powerful talons and keen eyesight. There are 13 Yellowstone species.[2]

Common name Binomial Status
Bald eagle Haliaeetus leucocephalus B
Northern harrier Circus cyaneus BN
Sharp-shinned hawk Accipiter striatus BN
Cooper's hawk Accipiter cooperii BN
Northern goshawk Accipiter gentilis BN
Red-shouldered hawk Buteo lineatus *N
Broad-winged hawk Buteo platypterus *N
Swainson's hawk Buteo swainsoni BN
Red-tailed hawk Buteo jamaicensis BN
Ferruginous hawk Buteo regalis +N
Rough-legged hawk Buteo lagopus +
Golden eagle Aquila chrysaetos B*

Caracaras and falcons[edit]

Order: Falconiformes   Family: Falconidae

Falconidae is a family of diurnal birds of prey, notably the falcons and caracaras. They differ from hawks, eagles and kites in that they kill with their beaks instead of their talons. There are 5 Yellowstone species.[2]

Common name Binomial Status
Crested caracara Caracara cheriway *
American kestrel Falco sparverius BN
Merlin Falco columbarius +N
Gyrfalcon Falco rusticolus BN
Prairie falcon Falco mexicanus BN

Rails, gallinules and coots[edit]

Order: Gruiformes   Family: Rallidae

Rallidae is a large family of small to medium-sized birds which includes the rails, crakes, coots and gallinules. The most typical family members occupy dense vegetation in damp environments near lakes, swamps or rivers. In general they are shy and secretive birds, making them difficult to observe. Most species have strong legs and long toes which are well adapted to soft uneven surfaces. They tend to have short, rounded wings and tend to be weak fliers. There are 4 Yellowstone species.[2]

Common name Binomial Status
Yellow rail Coturnicops noveboracensis *
Virginia rail Rallus limicola B*
Sora Porzana carolina B
American coot Fulica americana B


Order: Gruiformes   Family: Gruidae

Cranes are large, long-legged and long-necked birds. Unlike the similar-looking but unrelated herons, cranes fly with necks outstretched, not pulled back. Most have elaborate and noisy courting displays or "dances". There are 2 Yellowstone species.[2]

Common name Binomial Status
Sandhill crane Grus canadensis B
Whooping crane Grus americana +

Lapwings and plovers[edit]

Order: Charadriiformes   Family: Charadriidae

The family Charadriidae includes the plovers, dotterels and lapwings. They are small to medium-sized birds with compact bodies, short, thick necks and long, usually pointed, wings. They are found in open country worldwide, mostly in habitats near water. There are 4 Yellowstone species.[2]

Common name Binomial Status
Black-bellied plover Pluvialis squatarola *
Snowy plover Charadrius nivosus *
Semipalmated plover Charadrius semipalmatus *
Killdeer Charadrius vociferus BN

Stilts and avocets[edit]

Order: Charadriiformes   Family: Recurvirostridae

Recurvirostridae is a family of large wading birds, which includes the avocets and stilts. The avocets have long legs and long up-curved bills. The stilts have extremely long legs and long, thin, straight bills. There is 1 Yellowstone species.[2]

Common name Binomial Status
Black-necked stilt Himantopus mexicanus *

Sandpipers, curlews, stints, godwits, snipes and phalaropes[edit]

Order: Charadriiformes   Family: Scolopacidae

Scolopacidae is a large diverse family of small to medium-sized shorebirds including the sandpipers, curlews, godwits, shanks, tattlers, woodcocks, snipes, dowitchers and phalaropes. The majority of these species eat small invertebrates picked out of the mud or soil. Different lengths of legs and bills enable multiple species to feed in the same habitat, particularly on the coast, without direct competition for food. There are 23 Yellowstone species.[2]

Common name Binomial Status
Greater yellowlegs Tringa melanoleuca +
Lesser yellowlegs Tringa flavipes +
Solitary sandpiper Tringa solitaria +
Willet Tringa semipalmata +
Wandering tattler Tringa incana *
Spotted sandpiper Actitis macularia B
Upland sandpiper Bartramia longicauda *N
Long-billed curlew Numenius americanus B+N
Hudsonian godwit Limosa haemastica *
Marbled godwit Limosa fedoa +
Ruddy turnstone Arenaria interpres *
Red knot Calidris canutus *
Sanderling Calidris alba *
Semipalmated sandpiper Calidris pusilla *
White-rumped sandpiper Calidris fuscicollis *
Pectoral sandpiper Calidris melanotos *
Dunlin Calidris alpina *
Stilt sandpiper Calidris himantopus *
Short-billed dowitcher Limnodromus griseus *
Long-billed dowitcher Limnodromus scolopaceus +
Wilson's snipe Gallinago delicata B
Wilson's phalarope Phalaropus tricolor B+
Red-necked phalarope Phalaropus lobatus *

Gulls, terns and skimmers[edit]

Order: Charadriiformes   Family: Laridae

Laridae is a family of medium to large seabirds and includes jaegers, skuas, gulls, terns, kittiwakes and skimmers. They are typically gray or white, often with black markings on the head or wings. They have stout, longish bills and webbed feet. There are 13 Yellowstone species.[2]

Common name Binomial Status
Sabine's gull Xema sabini *
Laughing gull Larus atricilla *
Bonaparte's gull Larus philadelphia *
Franklin's gull Larus pipixcan +
Mew gull Larus canus *
California gull Larus californicus B
Herring gull Larus argentatus *
Caspian tern Hydroprogne caspia B
Black tern Chlidonias niger B+
Common tern Sterna hirundo *
Arctic tern Sterna paradisaea *
Forster's tern Sterna forsteri *


Order: Charadriiformes   Family: Stercorariidae

Common name Binomial Status
Parasitic jaeger Stercorarius parasiticus *

Auks, murres and puffins[edit]

Order: Charadriiformes   Family: Alcidae

The family Alcidae includes auks, murres and puffins. These are short winged birds that live on the open sea and normally only come ashore for breeding. There is 1 Yellowstone species.[2]

Common name Binomial Status
Long-billed murrelet Brachyramphus perdix *

Pigeons and doves[edit]

Order: Columbiformes   Family: Columbidae

Pigeons and doves are stout-bodied birds with short necks and short slender bills with a fleshy cere. There are 3 Yellowstone species.[2]

Common name Binomial Status
Rock pigeon Columba livia IB
Band-tailed pigeon Patagioenas fasciata *N
Mourning dove Zenaida macroura B+N

Cuckoos, roadrunners and anis[edit]

Order: Cuculiformes   Family: Cuculidae

The family Cuculidae includes cuckoos, roadrunners and anis. These birds are of variable size with slender bodies, long tails and strong legs. There is 1 Yellowstone species.[2]

Common name Binomial Status
Black-billed cuckoo Coccyzus erythropthalmus *N

Barn owls[edit]

Order: Strigiformes   Family: Tytonidae

Barn owls are medium to large owls with large heads and characteristic heart-shaped faces. They have long strong legs with powerful talons. There is 1 Yellowstone species.[2]

Common name Binomial Status
Barn owl Tyto alba *

True owls[edit]

Order: Strigiformes   Family: Strigidae

Typical owls are small to large solitary nocturnal birds of prey. They have large forward-facing eyes and ears, a hawk-like beak and a conspicuous circle of feathers around each eye called a facial disk. There are 11 Yellowstone species.[2]

Common name Binomial Status
Flammulated owl Psiloscops flammeolus *
Western screech-owl Megascops kennicottii *
Eastern screech-owl Megascops asio *
Great horned owl Bubo virginianus B
Northern pygmy-owl Glaucidium gnoma B+
Burrowing owl Athene cunicularia +N
Great gray owl Strix nebulosa B+
Long-eared owl Asio otus B*N
Short-eared owl Asio flammeus B*N
Boreal owl Aegolius funereus B+
Northern saw-whet owl Aegolius acadicus B+


Order: Caprimulgiformes   Family: Caprimulgidae

Nightjars are medium-sized nocturnal birds that usually nest on the ground. They have long wings, short legs and very short bills. Most have small feet, of little use for walking, and long pointed wings. Their soft plumage is cryptically colored to resemble bark or leaves. There is 1 Yellowstone species.[2]

Common name Binomial Status
Common nighthawk Chordeiles minor B+N


Order: Apodiformes   Family: Apodidae

The swifts are small birds which spend the majority of their lives flying. These birds have very short legs and never settle voluntarily on the ground, perching instead only on vertical surfaces. Many swifts have very long, swept-back wings which resemble a crescent or boomerang. There are 2 Yellowstone species.[2]

Common name Binomial Status
Vaux's swift Chaetura vauxi *N
White-throated swift Aeronautes saxatalis BN


Order: Apodiformes   Family: Trochilidae

Hummingbirds are small birds capable of hovering in mid-air due to the rapid flapping of their wings. They are the only birds that can fly backwards. There are 3 Yellowstone species.[2]

Common name Binomial Status
Calliope hummingbird Selasphorus calliope B+N
Broad-tailed hummingbird Selasphorus platycercus B+N
Rufous hummingbird Selasphorus rufus B+N


Order: Coraciiformes   Family: Alcedinidae

Kingfishers are medium-sized birds with large heads, long, pointed bills, short legs and stubby tails. There is 1 Yellowstone species.[2]

Common name Binomial Status
Belted kingfisher Megaceryle alcyon B

Woodpeckers, sapsuckers and flickers[edit]

Order: Piciformes   Family: Picidae

Woodpeckers are small to medium-sized birds with chisel-like beaks, short legs, stiff tails and long tongues used for capturing insects. Some species have feet with two toes pointing forward and two backward, while several species have only three toes. Many woodpeckers have the habit of tapping noisily on tree trunks with their beaks. There are 13 Yellowstone species.[2]

Common name Binomial Status
Lewis's woodpecker Melanerpes lewis B+
Red-headed woodpecker Melanerpes erythrocephalus *
Red-bellied woodpecker Melanerpes carolinus *
Williamson's sapsucker Sphyrapicus thyroideus B+N
Yellow-bellied sapsucker Sphyrapicus varius *N
Red-naped sapsucker Sphyrapicus nuchalis BN
Downy woodpecker Picoides pubescens B*
Hairy woodpecker Picoides villosus B
White-headed woodpecker Picoides albolarvatus *
American three-toed woodpecker Picoides dorsalis B+
Black-backed woodpecker Picoides arcticus B+
Northern flicker Colaptes auratus BN
Pileated woodpecker Dryocopus pileatus *

Tyrant flycatchers[edit]

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Tyrannidae

Tyrant flycatchers are Passerine birds which occur throughout North and South America. They superficially resemble the Old World flycatchers, but are more robust and have stronger bills. They do not have the sophisticated vocal capabilities of the songbirds. Most, but not all, are rather plain. As the name implies, most are insectivorous. There are 13 Yellowstone species.[2]

Common name Binomial Status
Olive-sided flycatcher Contopus cooperi BN
Western wood-pewee Contopus sordidulus BN
Willow flycatcher Empidonax traillii B*N
Least flycatcher Empidonax minimus *N
Hammond's flycatcher Empidonax hammondii BN
Gray flycatcher Empidonax wrightii B*N
Dusky flycatcher Empidonax oberholseri BN
Cordilleran flycatcher Empidonax occidentalis B*N
Say's phoebe Sayornis saya *N
Ash-throated flycatcher Myiarchus cinerascens *N
Western kingbird Tyrannus verticalis *N
Eastern kingbird Tyrannus tyrannus +N
Scissor-tailed flycatcher Tyrannus forficatus *


Order: Passeriformes   Family: Laniidae

Shrikes are passerine birds known for their habit of catching other birds and small animals and impaling the uneaten portions of their bodies on thorns. A typical shrike's beak is hooked, like a bird of prey. There are 2 Yellowstone species.[2]

Common name Binomial Status
Loggerhead shrike Lanius ludovicianus +N
Northern shrike Lanius excubitor +


Order: Passeriformes   Family: Vireonidae

The vireos are a group of small to medium-sized passerine birds restricted to the New World. They are typically greenish in color and resemble wood warblers apart from their heavier bills. There are 5 Yellowstone species.[2]

Common name Binomial Status
Blue-headed vireo Vireo solitarius *N
Yellow-throated vireo Vireo flavifrons *N
Warbling vireo Vireo gilvus BN
Philadelphia vireo Vireo philadelphicus *N
Red-eyed vireo Vireo olivaceus *N

Jays, crows, magpies and ravens[edit]

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Corvidae

The family Corvidae includes crows, ravens, jays, choughs, magpies, treepies, nutcrackers and ground jays. Corvids are above average in size among the Passeriformes, and some of the larger species show high levels of intelligence. There are 8 Yellowstone species.[2]

Common name Binomial Status
Gray jay Perisoreus canadensis B
Steller's jay Cyanocitta stelleri B
Blue jay Cyanocitta cristata *
Pinyon jay Gymnorhinus cyanocephalus *
Clark's nutcracker Nucifraga columbiana B
Black-billed magpie Pica hudsonia B
American crow Corvus brachyrhynchos B
Common raven Corvus corax B


Order: Passeriformes   Family: Alaudidae

Larks are small terrestrial birds with often extravagant songs and display flights. Most larks are fairly dull in appearance. Their food is insects and seeds. There is 1 Yellowstone species.[2]

Common name Binomial Status
Horned lark Eremophila alpestris BN

Swallows and martins[edit]

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Hirundinidae

The family Hirundinidae is adapted to aerial feeding. They have a slender streamlined body, long pointed wings and a short bill with a wide gape. The feet are adapted to perching rather than walking, and the front toes are partially joined at the base. There are 6 Yellowstone species.[2]

Common name Binomial Status
Tree swallow Tachycineta bicolor BN
Violet-green swallow Tachycineta thalassina BN
Northern rough-winged swallow Stelgidopteryx serripennis BN
Bank swallow Riparia riparia BN
Cliff swallow Petrochelidon pyrrhonota BN
Barn swallow Hirundo rustica BN

Chickadees and titmice[edit]

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Paridae

The Paridae are mainly small stocky woodland species with short stout bills. Some have crests. They are adaptable birds, with a mixed diet including seeds and insects. There are 2 Yellowstone species.[2]

Common name Binomial Status
Black-capped chickadee Poecile atricapilla B+
Mountain chickadee Poecile gambeli B


Order: Passeriformes   Family: Sittidae

Nuthatches are small woodland birds. They have the unusual ability to climb down trees head first, unlike other birds which can only go upwards. Nuthatches have big heads, short tails and powerful bills and feet. There are 3 Yellowstone species.[2]

Common name Binomial Status
Red-breasted nuthatch Sitta canadensis B
White-breasted nuthatch Sitta carolinensis B+
Pygmy nuthatch Sitta pygmaea *


Order: Passeriformes   Family: Certhiidae

Creepers are small woodland birds, brown above and white below. They have thin pointed down-curved bills, which they use to extricate insects from bark. They have stiff tail feathers, like woodpeckers, which they use to support themselves on vertical trees. There is 1 Yellowstone species.[2]

Common name Binomial Status
Brown creeper Certhia americana B


Order: Passeriformes   Family: Troglodytidae

Wrens are small and inconspicuous birds, except for their loud songs. They have short wings and thin down-turned bills. Several species often hold their tails upright. All are insectivorous. There are 6 Yellowstone species.[2]

Common name Binomial Status
Rock wren Salpinctes obsoletus BN
Canyon wren Catherpes mexicanus *
House wren Troglodytes aedon BN
Winter wren Troglodytes hiemalis *
Sedge wren Cistothorus platensis *N
Marsh wren Cistothorus palustris *N


Order: Passeriformes   Family: Cinclidae

Dippers are small, stout, birds that feed in cold, fast moving streams. There is 1 Yellowstone species.[2]

Common name Binomial Status
American dipper Cinclus mexicanus B


Order: Passeriformes   Family: Regulidae

The kinglets are a small family of birds which resemble the titmice. They are very small insectivorous birds in the genus Regulus. The adults have colored crowns, giving rise to their names. There are 2 Yellowstone species.[2]

Common name Binomial Status
Golden-crowned kinglet Regulus satrapa B+N
Ruby-crowned kinglet Regulus calendula BN


Order: Passeriformes   Family: Polioptilidae

Common name Binomial Status
Blue-gray gnatcatcher Polioptila caerulea *N


Order: Passeriformes   Family: Turdidae

The thrushes are a group of passerine birds that occur mainly but not exclusively in the Old World. They are plump, soft plumaged, small to medium-sized insectivores or sometimes omnivores, often feeding on the ground. Many have attractive songs. There are 8 Yellowstone species.[2]

Common name Binomial Status
Western bluebird Sialia mexicana *N
Mountain bluebird Sialia currucoides BN
Townsend's solitaire Myadestes townsendi B
Veery Catharus fuscescens *N
Swainson's thrush Catharus ustulatus B+N
Hermit thrush Catharus guttatus BN
American robin Turdus migratorius BN
Varied thrush Ixoreus naevius *

Mockingbirds and thrashers[edit]

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Mimidae

The mimids are a family of passerine birds which includes thrashers, mockingbirds, tremblers and the New World catbirds. These birds are notable for their vocalization, especially their remarkable ability to mimic a wide variety of birds and other sounds heard outdoors. The species tend towards dull grays and browns in their appearance. There are 4 Yellowstone species.[2]

Common name Binomial Status
Gray catbird Dumetella carolinensis *N
Northern mockingbird Mimus polyglottos *N
Sage thrasher Oreoscoptes montanus BN
Brown thrasher Toxostoma rufum *


Order: Passeriformes   Family: Sturnidae

Starlings are small to medium-sized passerine birds. They are medium-sized passerines with strong feet. Their flight is strong and direct and they are very gregarious. Their preferred habitat is fairly open country, and they eat insects and fruit. Plumage is typically dark with a metallic sheen. There is 1 Yellowstone species.[2]

Common name Binomial Status
European starling Sturnus vulgaris IB

Wagtails and pipits[edit]

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Motacillidae

Motacillidae is a family of small passerine birds with medium to long tails. They include the wagtails, longclaws and pipits. They are slender, ground feeding insectivores of open country. There are 2 Yellowstone species.[2]

Common name Binomial Status
American pipit Anthus rubescens BN
Sprague's pipit Anthus spragueii *N


Order: Passeriformes   Family: Bombycillidae

The waxwings are a group of passerine birds with soft silky plumage and unique red tips to some of the wing feathers. In the Bohemian and cedar waxwings, these tips look like sealing wax and give the group its name. These are arboreal birds of northern forests. They live on insects in summer and berries in winter. There is 1 Yellowstone species.[2]

Common name Binomial Status
Cedar waxwing Bombycilla cedrorum B+N


Order: Passeriformes   Family: Ptiliogonatidae

The silky-flycatchers are a small family of passerine birds. The family is named for their silky plumage and their aerial flycatching techniques. They occur mainly in Central America from Panama to Mexico, with one species, the Phainopepla, extending northwards into the southwestern USA. They are mostly sedentary, but the Phainopepla is migratory over the northern part of its range.[2]

Common name Binomial Status
Phainopepla Phainopepla nitens *


Order: Passeriformes   Family: Parulidae

The wood warblers are a group of small often colorful passerine birds restricted to the New World. Most are arboreal, but some like the ovenbird and the two waterthrushes, are more terrestrial. Most members of this family are insectivores. There are 23 Yellowstone species.[2]

Common name Binomial Status
Tennessee warbler Oreothlypis peregrina *N
Orange-crowned warbler Oreothlypis celata B+N
Nashville warbler Oreothlypis ruficapilla *
Virginia's warbler Oreothlypis virginiae *
Yellow warbler Setophaga petechia BN
Chestnut-sided warbler Setophaga pensylvanica *N
Cape May warbler Setophaga tigrina *N
Yellow-rumped warbler Setophaga coronata BN
Townsend's warbler Setophaga townsendi *N
Blackburnian warbler Setophaga fusca *N
Yellow-throated warbler Setophaga dominica *N
Palm warbler Setophaga palmarum *
Bay-breasted warbler Setophaga castanea *N
Blackpoll warbler Setophaga striata *N
American redstart Setophaga ruticilla *N
Black-and-white warbler Mniotilta varia *N
Prothonotary warbler Protonotaria citrea *N
Ovenbird Seiurus aurocapilla *N
Northern waterthrush Parkesia noveboracensis B+N
MacGillivray's warbler Geothlypis tolmiei BN
Common yellowthroat Geothlypis trichas BN
Wilson's warbler Cardellina pusilla BN
Yellow-breasted chat Icteria virens *N

Longspurs and snow buntings[edit]

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Calcariidae

Common name Binomial Status
McCown's longspur Calcarius mccownii *N
Lapland longspur Calcarius lapponicus *
Snow bunting Plectrophenax nivalis *

American sparrows, towhees and juncos[edit]

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Emberizidae

Emberizidae is a large family of passerine birds. They are seed-eating birds with distinctively shaped bills. In Europe, most species are called buntings. In North America, most of the species in this family are known as sparrows, but these birds are not closely related to the Old World sparrows which are in the family Passeridae. Many emberizid species have distinctive head patterns. There are 23 Yellowstone species.[2]

Common name Binomial Status
Green-tailed towhee Pipilo chlorurus BN
Spotted towhee Pipilo maculatus *N
American tree sparrow Spizelloides arborea *
Chipping sparrow Spizella passerina BN
Clay-colored sparrow Spizella pallida *N
Brewer's sparrow Spizella breweri BN
Field sparrow Spizella pusilla *
Vesper sparrow Pooecetes gramineus BN
Black-chinned sparrow Spizella atrogularis *N
Lark sparrow Chondestes grammacus *N
Black-throated sparrow Amphispiza bilineata *N
Lark bunting Calamospiza melanocorys *N
Savannah sparrow Passerculus sandwichensis BN
Grasshopper sparrow Ammodramus savannarum *N
Le Conte's sparrow Ammodramus leconteii *N
Fox sparrow Passerella iliaca B*N
Song sparrow Melospiza melodia BN
Lincoln's sparrow Melospiza lincolnii BN
Swamp sparrow Melospiza georgiana *
White-throated sparrow Zonotrichia albicollis *
Harris's sparrow Zonotrichia querula *
White-crowned sparrow Zonotrichia leucophrys BN
Dark-eyed junco Junco hyemalis BN

Cardinals and grosbeaks[edit]

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Cardinalidae

The cardinals are a family of robust, seed-eating birds with strong bills. They are typically associated with open woodland. The sexes usually have distinct plumages. There are 6 Yellowstone species.[2]

Common name Binomial Status
Scarlet tanager Piranga olivacea *N
Western tanager Piranga ludoviciana BN
Rose-breasted grosbeak Pheucticus ludovicianus *N
Black-headed grosbeak Pheucticus melanocephalus *N
Lazuli bunting Passerina amoena BN
Indigo bunting Passerina cyanea *N


Order: Passeriformes   Family: Icteridae

The icterids are a group of small to medium-sized, often colorful passerine birds restricted to the New World and include the grackles, New World blackbirds and New World orioles. Most species have black as a predominant plumage color, often enlivened by yellow, orange or red. There are 9 Yellowstone species.[2]

Common name Binomial Status
Bobolink Dolichonyx oryzivorus *N
Red-winged blackbird Agelaius phoeniceus BN
Western meadowlark Sturnella neglecta BN
Yellow-headed blackbird Xanthocephalus xanthocephalus BN
Brewer's blackbird Euphagus cyanocephalus BN
Common grackle Quiscalus quiscula *
Brown-headed cowbird Molothrus ater BN
Baltimore oriole Icterus galbula *N
Bullock's oriole Icterus bullockii *N

Fringilline finches, cardueline finches and allies[edit]

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Fringillidae

Finches are seed-eating passerine birds, that are small to moderately large and have a strong beak, usually conical and in some species very large. All have twelve tail feathers and nine primaries. These birds have a bouncing flight with alternating bouts of flapping and gliding on closed wings, and most sing well. There are 12 Yellowstone species.[2]

Common name Binomial Status
Black rosy-finch Leucosticte atrata B
Pine grosbeak Pinicola enucleator B
Purple finch Haemorhous purpureus *
Cassin's finch Haemorhous cassinii BN
House finch Haemorhous mexicanus B+
Red crossbill Loxia curvirostra B
White-winged crossbill Loxia leucoptera B+
Common redpoll Acanthis flammea *
Pine siskin Spinus pinus BN
Lesser goldfinch Spinus psaltria *
American goldfinch Spinus tristis +N
Evening grosbeak Coccothraustes vespertinus +

Old World sparrows[edit]

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Passeridae

Old World sparrows are small passerine birds. In general, sparrows tend to be small plump brownish or grayish birds with short tails and short powerful beaks. Sparrows are seed eaters, but they also consume small insects. There is 1 Yellowstone species.[2]

Common name Binomial Status
House sparrow Passer domesticus IB

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Brodrick, Harold J. (1952). Birds of Yellowstone National Park: A Descriptive Check List of the Birds of Yellowstone with Helpful Illustrations. Yellowstone National Park. 
  • Zardus, Maurice J. (1967). Birds of Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. Salt Lake City, UT: Wheelright Press. 
  • Follett, dick (1975). Birds of Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. Yellowstone Library and Museum Association. ISBN 0911797149. 
  • Zarki, J.; Follett, R. (1987). A Checklist, Birds of Yellowstone National Park. 
  • McEneaney, Terry; McEneaney, Karen (1988). Birds of Yellowstone: a Practical Habitat Guide to the Birds of Yellowstone National Park- and Where to Find Them. Boulder, CO: Robert Rinehart Inc. ISBN 0911797440. 
  • Wilkinson, Todd (1992). Yellowstone Wildlife A Watcher's Guide. Minocqua, WI: NorthWord Press. ISBN 155971140X. 

Annual Yellowstone Bird Reports[edit]

  • McEneaney, Terry (1999). Yellowstone Bird Report 1999 (PDF) (Report). Yellowstone Center for Resources, National Park Service, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming. YCR–NR–2000–02. 
  • McEneaney, Terry (2000). Yellowstone Bird Report 2000 (PDF) (Report). Yellowstone Center for Resources, National Park Service, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming. YCR–NR–2001–01. 
  • McEneaney, Terry (2001). Yellowstone Bird Report 2001 (PDF) (Report). Yellowstone Center for Resources, National Park Service, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming. YCR–NR–2002–03. 
  • McEneaney, Terry (2002). Yellowstone Bird Report 2002 (PDF) (Report). Yellowstone Center for Resources, National Park Service, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming. YCR–NR–2003–03. 
  • McEneaney, Terry (2003). Yellowstone Bird Report 2003 (PDF) (Report). Yellowstone Center for Resources, National Park Service, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming. YCR–NR–2004–01. 
  • McEneaney, Terry (2004). Yellowstone Bird Report 2004 (PDF) (Report). Yellowstone Center for Resources, National Park Service, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming. YCR-2005-01. 
  • McEneaney, Terry (2005). Yellowstone Bird Report 2005 (PDF) (Report). Yellowstone Center for Resources, National Park Service, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming. YCR-2006-2. 
  • McEneaney, Terry (2006). Yellowstone Bird Report 2006 (PDF) (Report). Yellowstone Center for Resources, National Park Service, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming. YCR-2007-01. 


  1. ^ a b McEneaney, Terry (April 2004). Field Checklist of the Birds of Yellowstone National Park (PDF) (Report). Yellowstone Center for Resource, Yellowstone National Park, National Park Service. Retrieved 2010-01-30. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap aq ar as at au av aw ax ay az ba "The AOU Check-list of North American Birds, 7th Edition". The American Ornithologists' Union. Retrieved 2011-02-04.