Wildlife Viewing & Birdwatching

Yellowstone Park and our surrounding national forests offer wildlife viewing and birdwatching year-round. You will see bison migrating to their calving grounds, elk bugling during rut, antelope babies playing tag, and bear cubs rolling in the meadow under their mother’s watchful eye.

Excellent birding surrounds West Yellowstone. Serious bird-watchers can explore the trails, forests, and waterways in search of elusive species. Over 311 species of birds have been documented in Yellowstone Park with an array of birds unique to this area of North America.

Stop by the visitor center for free maps, birding trail brochure, and the latest wildlife sighting information.


Here in Montana, we respect and promote wildlife and birds and their environment, and we appreciate you doing the same. Please stay safe and keep keep our wildlife and birds safe as well.

  • Observe and enjoy wildlife and birds from a distance.
    Park regulations require visitors to stay a minimum of 25 yards – the length of two regular school buses – away from most large animals and a minimum of 100 yards – the length of a football field – away from bears and wolves at all times. This is a good to follow whether you are in the park or national forest.
  • Exercise restraint and caution during observation, photography, sound recording and filming so as not to stress wildlife and birds.
  • Keep far back from nests and nesting colonies, roosts, display areas and important feeding sites.
  • Stay on roads, trails and paths where they exist, and respect private property.
  • Keep habitat disturbance to a minimum.
  • Give wildlife space.
  • Leave no trace.