Bird Watching in Grand Canyon National Park

Grand Canyon National Park

A national park can be defined as a natural space that is dedicated for the purpose of conservation, recreation and protection. National parks not only protect endangered and vulnerable species but provide an escape for humans from the chaotic world full of stress and tension. Bird watching in the Grand Canyon is no exception!

Visiting a national park is like an all-in-one experience as visitors can explore various landscapes, enjoy the beauty of nature, learn about plant and animal species, indulge in bird-watching, live amidst the protected wilderness and even camp inside the national park.

Sunset in the Grand Canyon

It becomes our responsibility to conserve these parks where the natural environment is still intact so that people can slow down, enjoy nature and indulge in adventurous activities. One such national park is the Grand Canyon National Park.

Overview of Grand Canyon National Park

Everyone can enjoy The Grand Canyon

Situated in the vast scenic area of Northwest Arizona in the Southwestern United States, Grand Canyon National Park was created in 1919. Its area was greatly enlarged in 1975 by the addition of former Grand Canyon and Marble Canyon national monuments and by portions of the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. The park was also designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979.

The North Rim is popular for its rugged, isolated trails, and its sparse facilities. Visitors call the North Rim a spectacular and must-see spot, remarking on its peaceful and quiet atmosphere.

One of the most controversial additions to the Grand Canyon National Park is the Grand Canyon Skywalk, which is a large, semi-circular bridge with a transparent glass floor. It was considered controversial when people spoke out about it because they believed the skywalk was a hazard and did not belong in its already beautiful natural surroundings. The area has been attracting thousands of tourists since its opening in the year 2007.

Grand Canyon National Park is also famous for bird watching as 556 species of birds have been spotted in Arizona.


  • 12 Month Prepaid Bird Watching Subscription - 1 patch a month
    12 Month Prepaid Bird Watching Subscription – 1 patch a month
  • 12 Month Prepaid Bird Watching Subscription - 3 patches a month
    12 Month Prepaid Bird Watching Subscription – 3 patches a month
  • Kid & Adult Bird Watching Starter Pack Subscription
    Kid & Adult Bird Watching Starter Pack Subscription
    $10.00 / month and a $72.00 sign-up fee
  • Kids Bird Watching Starter Pack Subscription
    Kids Bird Watching Starter Pack Subscription
    $10.00 / month and a $19.00 sign-up fee

Hiking in Grand Canyon National Park

Hiking is popular in the Grand Canyon

Great hikes and backpacking routes on the North and South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park include easy hikes overlooking the rim and more rugged trekking options that descend into the canyon. Hiking is a great opportunity to bird watch as well.

The South Rim Trail is where visitors first lay their eyes on the Grand Canyon. It’s an unforgettable experience and viewpoints are in plenty. The 13 mile paved route is lined with shuttle tops and connects scenic viewpoints with park facilities like the Grand Canyon Visitor center.

The Bright Angel trail reveals fantastic views and descends steeply from the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. Backcountry camping is available at the Bright Angel route. Descending over 4000 feet in nine miles between South Rim and Colorado, the trail encompasses endless switchbacks and unfolding views.

South Kaibab Trail is one of the most popular into the canyon hikes in the Grand Canyon National Park. An early morning hike is recommended to experience this iconic hiking trail and marvel at all the different birds you can see while bird watching.

Rim to Rim Trail is for those who want to hike the Grand Canyon National Park in a day. The 24 miles trail connects North and South Rim to the Grand Canyon, including more than 4500 feet of elevation.

Hotels and Camps in Grand Canyon National Park

Camping in The Grand Canyon allows you to see amazing sights.

Lodges in Grand Canyon National Park provides premier in park lodging. When you stay in Grand Canyon, you are not just there but you feel the place. The El Tovar hotel is Grand Canyon’s premier lodge which first opened its doors in 1905.

Thunderbird Lodge is an ideal accommodation located at the South Rim. It has ample facilities to make your stay a memorable one.

Phantom Ranch is located on the north side of the Colorado River and is the only lodging below the canyon rim. Kachina Lodge, Maswik Lodge, Bright Angel Lodge and Cabins are other options to stay inside the park.

There are various campgrounds inside the Grand Canyon National Park so that visitors can have a real nature experience. Being outdoors allows for great bird watching! North Rim campground, Desert View campground, South Rim Campground are some of the options you can choose from.

Bird Watching in Grand Canyon National Park

Adults and children alike love to bird watch.

Because of the wide variety of ecosystems, Grand Canyon National Park is home to an incredible diversity of bird life. Around 556 species of birds have been spotted in Arizona, 401 in Coconino, and 393 in Mohave County. The Grand Canyon was designated as a Globally Important Bird Area in 2014 to recognize the important role that the park plays in protecting various species of birds.

Grand Canyon National Park is an ideal bird watching site and is visited by many people for this reason. It is a refuge for some of the rarest birds in the world and home to hundreds of important species which fulfill essential ecological roles.

10 Birds to see Year Round in Grand Canyon National Park

Cinnamon Teal

Cinnamon Teal is a small duck with a sizable head and a long bill. Breeding males have a vivid rusty plumage, red eye, dark bill, and brownish back. Immatures, non-breeding males and females are mostly rich brown overall.

Cinnamon Teal splashes for food at the water’s surface in marshes. They breed in freshwater wetlands with emergent vegetation in western North America.

Greater Roadrunner

The Greater Roadrunner are large cuckoos with a distinctive shape. They have long legs, a very long tail, and a long neck. Their head has a short crest and the bill is long, heavy, and slightly down curved.

Greater Roadrunner is tan and brown with extensive blackish streaking on their upperparts and chest. They have dark wings with white highlights and the crown is black with small, pale spots.

They spend most of their time on grounds hunting for lizards, small mammals, and birds. They are fast runners but weak fliers. These are the birds of hot, shrubby expanses of the Desert Southwest.

Costa’s Hummingbird

Costa’s Hummingbirds are small and compact hummingbirds with a hunched posture. Their short tail barely meets its short wings when perched. Adult males have a purple crown and gorget, a green back, and a green vest. Females and immatures are greenish above with whitish underparts.

These hummingbirds drink nectar from many desert plants, especially Chuparosa and Ocotillo. They are generally found in desert scrub in the Sonoran and Mojave Deserts, and chaparral and sage scrub areas in coastal California. During non-breeding seasons, they are found in similar dry habitats as well as parks, gardens and high elevation mountains.

California Condor

The California Condor are the largest wild birds in North America. Their wings are exceptionally long and broad. Their body is noticeably bulky during flight and the head appears small. Adults are black with white patches below the wings and their naked head and neck are yellowish orange.

The California Condor are social birds that form groups around carcasses, at bathing spots, and at roosts. They scavenge for carrion in habitats ranging from Pacific beaches to mountain forests and meadows.

Acorn Woodpecker

  • Acorn Woodpecker Iron on Patches
    Acorn Woodpecker Iron on Patches

Acorn Woodpeckers are medium-sized birds with straight, spike-like bills and stiff, wedge-shaped tails which it uses for support when it clings to trees. They are mostly black above with a red cap, creamy white face, and black patch around the bill. Females have less red on the crown as compared to males.

Acorn Woodpeckers usually live in oak and mixed-oak evergreen forests on slopes and mountains in the Southwest and West Coast. They feed on insects and live in large groups.

Woodhouse Scrub Jay

Woodhouse Scrub Jay is a fairly large, lanky songbird with a long, floppy tail. Its bill is fairly long and straight with a long tip. It is light blue and gray above, with a whitish throat and grayish belly separated by an indistinct, partial breast band of blue.

Woodhouse Scrub Jays are vocal, inquisitive and assertive birds. They can be found in open habitats and pinyon-juniper woodlands of the intermountain West.

Yellow-rumped Warbler

Yellow-rumped Warblers are fairly large, full-bodied birds with a large head, sturdy bill, and long, narrow tail. In summers, both males and females are a smart gray with flashes of white in the wings and yellow on the face, sides, and rump. During winters, these birds are pale brown with a bright yellow rump.

Yellow-rumped Warblers typically forage in the outer tree canopies at middle heights. They catch insects midair and in long flights. In winters, they feed on berries from shrubs and often travel in large flocks.

Lesser Goldfinch

Lesser Goldfinch are tiny, stub-billed songbirds with long, pointed wings, and short, notched tails. Male Goldfinches are bright yellow with a glossy black cap while females have olive backs. They gather in groups and feed on seeds and grains.

Depending on food availability, Lesser Goldfinches can be found in mountain canyons and desert oases but are also common in the suburbs.

Cactus Wren

Cactus Wren is a large chunky wren with a long heavy bill. It has a long, rounded tail, and short, rounded wings. It is the largest wren in United States and is mainly found in deserts, arid foothills, coastal sage scrub, and urban areas throughout the western deserts.

The Cactus Wren is a speckled brown bird with white eyebrows that extend from the bill, across and above their red eyes, to the sides of the neck.

Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher

Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher is a tiny, long-tailed bird of broadleaf forests and scrublands. It has a long tail, long legs, and a thin, straight bill. As the name says, these birds are blue-gray bird with grayish-white underparts and a mostly black tail with white edges.

These Gnatcatchers rarely slows down, fluttering after small insects among shrubs and trees with its tail cocked at a jaunty angle. They breed in deciduous forests and near edges, often in moist areas in the East. One can look for them in shorter woodlands and shrub lands in the West.

National Parks are the country’s greatest treasure and some of the most spectacular places on earth to bird watch. But for all their beauty, National Parks can also be unforgiving if you’re not prepared. It is essential to be ready for both excessive heat and brutal cold. One must reserve a lodge and camp in advance as National Parks are very crowded and finding a place at the last minute can be problematic. Do not skip the visitor’s center and carry a map. Remember, the Earth has its music for those who will listen. So forget the tech savvy world for a while and immerse yourself in the beauty of nature.

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