HOUSTON (KIAH) A big national Texas park made the Top 10 list for best places to birdwatch in America. American national parks draw in millions of visitors each year. Some go to enjoy hiking, but even more people visit National Parks for birdwatching. There are about 900 species of birds native to the United States, so you’re almost guaranteed to see birds no matter which park you adventure to. Still, you’ll want to visit the park with the most bird species and the best viewpoints to ensure you get the most out of your visit. The experts at birdwatching and social media platform, Birda, List the top ten National Parks where you can see all the birds on your checklist.
1 – Acadia National Park | Maine

Boasting 261 species of birds, those that frequent Acadia National Park include the Bald eagle, Atlantic puffin, peregrine falcon, Blackburnian warbler and woodpecker. The variety is one of the keys draws of the park, with birds of prey, seabirds, and boreal birds all in abundance. Many of the birds live there all year though some birds do stop in the park during their migrations north and south. The park itself is on the coast of Maine and includes beaches, lakes, cliffs, and mountains. You’ll find that the best places to bird watch are Jordan Pond, Precipice Trail and Cadillac Mountain.

2 – Everglades National Park | Florida

With over 300 species of birds here, Everglades National Park in Florida is home to the Wood stork, Roseate spoonbill, White ibis, Green-backed heron, Snowy egret, Red-tailed hawks, Anhinga, Indigo bunting and Red-bellied woodpecker. When Everglades birdwatching, you can catch sight of birds of prey, land birds and wading birds within the Floridian wetlands. Millions of birds live in the Everglades, so your chances of spotting your favorite ones are high making this a top destination for birdwatching. Located near Miami, this National Park is nicknamed the “River of Grass.” The best Everglades birdwatching spots include the Homestead, Anhinga Trail, Paurotis Pond, Nine Mile Pond and Mrazek Pond.

3 – Grand Canyon National Park | Arizona

Those that inhabit Grand Canyon National Park are the Peregrine falcon, California condor, Common raven, Steller’s pinyon, Red-tailed hawk, Scrub jay and Canyon wren. This park hosts a staggering 370 bird species within its limits. While some birds are of a more common species, there are also incredibly rare birds here, like the California condor, Yuma clapper rail, and Mexican spotted owl. Expect to see plenty of Common ravens too as they hang around the parking areas, buildings and campgrounds. While birdwatching in Grand Canyon National Park, you’ll see everything from desert landscapes to lush pine forests to flowing rivers. This is a top birdwatching park as it was named a Globally Important Bird Area in 2014.

4 – Olympic National Park | Washington

The  Bald eagle, Western gull, Red-breasted sapsucker, Woodpecker, Belted kingfisher, Steller’s and Gray jay, Blue grouse, Peregrine falcon and Northern pygmy owl are all birds found in Olympic National Park in Washington. Here, you’ll find diverse scenery and even more variety birdwatching. East of Seattle, this park is full of beaches, forests, waterfalls, moss, ferns and mountains. There are more than 250 bird species in this gorgeous habitat.

5 – Haleakala National Park | Hawaii

The Birds of Haleakala National Park in Hawaii include Hawaiian short-eared owl, Nene goose, Honeycreeper, Maui petrel and Mauri Parrotbill. Hawaii is one of the most remote archipelagos in the world, so the birds found there are quite unique. Many birds are native only to this area, endemic, and have ancestors who landed on the island millions of years ago. The park features vast landscapes from lush rainforests and to rocky volcanic craters. You’ll find the best bird watching on the Hosmer Grove Trail, right off the campground of the same name. 

6 – Pinnacles National Park | California

The Birds of Pinnacles National Park include the California quail, California condor, Turkey vulture, Golden eagle, Prairie falcon, Acorn woodpecker and Steller’s jay. Although this park is quite small and less visited, it is a great birdwatching location with more than 160 bird species. In particular, you can see lots of woodland birds and birds of prey at this park. It’s one of few parks where you can see California condor, a species released here after being bred in captivity. The park has plenty of great camping spots and hiking trails through displaced volcanic formations. Be sure to check out the High Peaks Trail in search of those California condor.

7 – Yellowstone National Park | Wyoming, Idaho, & Montana

Yellowstone National Park is one of the most world renowned in America, and is home to the Bald eagle, American white pelican, Canada geese, Common loon, Osprey, Sandhill crane, Trumpeter swan and American dipper. There is no doubt that you’ll enjoy your Yellowstone birdwatching experience as there are close to 300 bird species in this massive park. You’ll likely see other wildlife as well, since this park is known for its wolves, bison, elk, bears and other animals. Whilst birdwatching in Yellowstone, you’ll experience rivers, hot springs, forests and valleys. About 150 bird species nest within the park. Be sure to spend some time in the Hayden Valley where you’ll find both water birds and birds of prey.

8 – Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore | Indiana

The Birds of Indiana Dunes National Park include Virginia rail, Red-throated loon, Green heron, Great blue heron, Waterfowl and warblers. This National Park is home to 285 species of birds, as well as the endangered Karner blue butterfly. It’s best to visit in the spring and fall when thousands of birds migrate through. Expect to traverse wetlands, prairies, dunes and forests on your birdwatching adventures here.

9 – Carlsbad Caverns National Park | New Mexico

Gray and Bell’s vireo, Vermillion flycatcher, Cactus wren, Ladder-backed woodpecker and varied bunting are the species to be on the lookout for at Carlsbad Caverns National Park in New Mexico. Birders report anywhere from 310 to 357 different bird species at the Carlsbad Caverns. Over 300 of those species have been spotted at the Rattlesnake Springs within the park so you can easily spend much of your time there alone.  The park is also a recognized Important Bird Area where you can spot almost any Eastern warbler including the Kentucky, Cape May, and Prothonotary varieties. Be sure to visit in the spring or fall for the best bird watching.

10 – Big Bend National Park | Texas

Big Bend in Texas is home to the Vermillion flycatcher, Colima warbler, Mexican jay, Lucifer hummingbird and Green kingfisher. The Big Bend National Park borders Mexico, so it presents a unique opportunity to see birds that you don’t often see in more northern parks. This is especially true of the Colima warbler, which you can’t reliably find anywhere else in the USA. Enjoy over 450 different bird species when birdwatching at Big Bend National Park. The diversity of the location and habitat includes desert springs and oak-pinyon woods which allows you to see a wide range of birds.

About Birda:
Birda – an innovative birdwatching app for curious people who want to deepen their connection with the outdoors – aims to create an inclusive community to experience, enjoy, and protect the nature and wildlife wherever you are. Whether you live in the countryside or in the city, Birda allows users to explore and appreciate the nature that surrounds them through a free, easy-to-use tool for logging the birdlife around you – all you have to do is head out and look up.