Bird Watching in Zion National Park

Zion National Park

A trip to a National Park is a perfect nature dose. It is also a significant deviation from our typical vacation ideas. Sometimes skipping the warmth of the sun on a beach and the cold of the mountains is worth it. Connecting with nature, indeed boosts creativity and health. And what better way than a National Park to experience the beauty of majestic mountains, the serenity of lakes, the amazing wildlife, and breathtaking landscapes. National Parks are also about adventurous trails and startling bird watching.

National Parks are vast expanses of land covering diverse natural environments and immense forests, and many times include several historical sites as well. These sites can be anything from old cemeteries to lighthouses to ancient walls or forest rest houses. The location of such sites and their style of construction gives us an idea of how ancient people lived.

With the development in technology and infrastructure, we tend to cut down more and more trees. Due to land development, forests have been shrinking, resulting in habitat loss and the consequent extinction of rare species. National Parks not only protect these rare species but ensure a much healthier environment for us. One such magnificent National Park is Zion National Park.

Overview of the Park

Located in the state of Utah, Zion National Park is the place where ancient native people lived, and pioneers walked. Zion National Park is located in Washington, Kane and Iron County and is an absolute gem of the National Park system. It’s towering red rock, evergreen trees, and the glittering Virgin River come together to create one magical and formidable landscape.

The slimmest section of Zion Canyon is called the Narrows and is one of the most popular hikes in Zion National Park. It is recommended to seal your valuables in a waterproof bag becaues at a certain point, you need to swim upstream as the footpath turns into a Virgin River. Along the way, visitors can enjoy towering views of the orange-red canyon.

The Zion Canyon scenic drive is for those who want to experience the grandeur of Zion National Park from the safety and comfort of a car. It is a 57-mile drive that takes you past the Virgin River and many other famous spots inside the park.

The Canyon Overlook Trail is one of the busiest and easiest trails inside Zion National Park. It is only 1-mile long trip where expansive views of the Canyon can be enjoyed.

Observation Point gives a bird’s eye view of the entire Zion National Park and its attractions. Since hikers will ascend 2,000 feet during this trail, it is not only for the faint of heart.

Zion National Park is also known for bird watching as almost 467 species of birds have been spotted in the state of Utah.


  • 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

Camping in Zion National Park

Camping is awesome! It offers unforgettable adventures and gives you a chance to relax and recharge. One can sit back, chill, and watch the world go by. It is also about reconnecting with nature and discovering new places.

Vacations are all about creating memories for life, and camping provides plenty of opportunities to do so. And of course, watching the sunset and sunrise forms an integral part of camping. Even more memories can be made while bird watching together.

There are three campgrounds in Zion National Park. The Lava Point campground is the highest point in the park. It offers pit toilets and trash cans. Visitors can enjoy golden valley views and aspens galore.

At the Watchman Campground, insane sunsets and wildlife will make your trip feel like a fairytale. There are 176 sites available at this campground, and your furry friends are allowed.

Located near the south entrance of the park, South Campground is an ideal place to stay. Reservations are available 14 days ahead of arrival.

Hiking in Zion National Park

Zion National Park is a great place to be at since so much is packed into a small area. Whether you are a hardcore hiker or a soft adventurer, Zion National Park has various amazing trails.

While the Canyon Overlook Trail is the best photography spot in the park, the Watchman Trail provides splendid views of the valley. Angels Landing Trail is not for the faint of heart, but the views on the top are truly breathtaking. Just imagine the bird watching you can do from these vantage points!

Observation Point, Kolob Arch, and Riverside Walk are other exciting hiking trails in Zion National Park.

Bird Watching in Zion National Park

The red rocks against the clear blue sky of Zion National Park are simply sublime. But what is also sublime is the presence of many species of birds inside the park. With over 388 species of birds spotted in Washington, 278 in Kane, and 293 in Iron County, Zion National Park becomes an ideal bird watching site.

Bird watching is a popular hobby that developed in the 20th century. During the 19th century, people could only identify unfamiliar birds using a gun when they had the bird’s corpse in their hands. Modern bird watching was made possible only by the development of optical aids, particularly binoculars, which enabled people to study birds without killing them.

Zion National Park houses a wide variety of birds, including American Coot, Gadwall, and Juniper Titmouse. Besides hiking, camping, and exploring landscapes, people can also indulge in bird watching.

10 Birds to see Year-Round in Zion National Park


Gadwall is a reasonably large, square-headed bird with a steep forehead. Its bill and neck are noticeably thinner and wings slender. Males are gray-brown with a black patch on the head, and females have a thin orange edge to their dark bills. In-flight, both males and females have a white wing patch that is sometimes visible while swimming or resting.

Gadwalls often steal food from flocks of diving ducks and coots. It mainly breeds in Great Plains and prairies. During winters, Gadwalls can be found in reservoirs, ponds, fresh and saltwater marshes, sewage ponds, city parks, and muddy edges of estuaries.

American Coot

American Coop is a plump, chicken like a bird with a rounded head and sloping bill. It has a tiny tail, short wings, and large feet, which are visible rarely during flights. American Coot is dark-gray to black with a bright white bill and forehead. Its legs are yellow-green. From a close view, you can observe a red patch on its head.

American Coots feed on aquatic plants in any water body. It looks like a duck during swimming but more chicken-like on the ground. It can be found in city parks, marshes, reservoirs, along the edges of lakes, and saltmarshes.

Ladder-backed Woodpecker

Ladder-backed Woodpecker are small woodpeckers with a square head, short neck, and stiff tail that they lean against for support. The bill is small but straight. These are black and white above and a checkered pattern on the wings. Their underparts are buffy white or gray, stippled with black.

Ladder-backed Woodpecker’s buffy white face is broken by black lines that extend from the bill and eye and join at the neck. These birds feed on insects and larvae and are usually found in dry habitats such as deserts, desert scrub, thorn forest, and pinyon-juniper woodlands.

Vermillion Flycatcher

Vermilion Flycatchers are small in size. Adult males are bright red and black while females are brownish above with a white breast and reddish belly. Males and females have a dark tail and wings.

Black-capped Chickadee

  • Black Capped Chickadee Iron on Patch
    Black Capped Chickadee Iron on Patch

The Black Capped Chickadee is a tiny bird with a short neck and large head giving it a spherical body shape. Its tail is long and narrow, and the bill is short. The cap and ribs of Black-capped chickadee are black, cheeks are white, back is gray, and wing feathers are gray edged with white.

This bird can be found in habitats which have trees or woody shrubs. Forest, woodlots, parks, weed fields, and cattail marshes are typical habitats of Black-capped chickadee.

Juniper Titmouse

The Juniper Titmouse is a small songbird, but its long body, short neck, and medium-long tail make it appear more prominent. A short crest gives Juniper Titmouse’s large head a pointed silhouette. Its bill is reasonably thick and round.

It is gray overall with a paler gray belly. Its dark eyes stand out on an otherwise overall gray bird.  Juniper Titmouse is an acrobat of the pinyon-juniper forest. Its strong feet allow it to hang upside down from branches. These birds nest in mature woodlands where older pinyon and juniper trees offer a ready supply of cavities for nesting.

Red-breasted Nuthatch

Red-breasted Nuthatch is a small and compact bird with a sharp expression accentuated by its long, pointed bill. They have very short tails and almost no neck. Their body is plump or barrel-chested, and shorts wings are very broad.

They are blue-gray with strongly patterned heads, and the underparts are rich rusty-cinnamon. These are mainly birds of coniferous woods and mountains. One can find them among spruce, fir, pine, hemlock, larch, and western red cedar as well as around aspens and poplars. In northeastern North America, you can find them in forests of oak, hickory, maple, birch, and other deciduous trees.

Mountain Bluebird

Mountain Bluebirds are small thrushes with round heads and straight, thin bills. When compared with other bluebirds, Mountain Bluebirds are lanky and long-winged. Males are sky blue, a bit darker on the wings and tail, and a pale yellow below. Females are gray-brown with tinges of pale blue in wings and tail.

Mountain Bluebirds mainly feed on berries and are found in native habitats such as prairie, sagebrush steppe, and even alpine tundra, anywhere within the open country with at least a few trees that can provide nest cavities.

Orange-crowned Warbler

Orange-crowned Warblers are small songbirds. They have noticeably thin, sharply pointed bills as compared to other warblers. Orange-crowned Warblers have short wings and short, square tails. They are fairly plain yellowish or olive—they are more yellow on the Pacific coast and grayer, particularly on the head, farther east. The namesake orange patch on the crown is rarely seen but may become visible when the bird raises its head feathers in excitement or agitation.

Orange-crowned warblers forage in dense shrubbery and low trees and breed in dense areas of deciduous shrubs, usually within or adjacent to the forest.

Western Meadowlark

Western Meadowlark is the size of a robin but chunkier with a short tail, with a flat head, long, slender bill, and a round-shouldered posture that conceals its neck. Its wings are rounded and short for the bird’s size, and the tail is short, stiff, and spiky.

They have yellow underparts with intricately patterned brown, black, and buff upperparts.  In spring and summer, male Western Meadowlarks sing out from atop fence posts, bushes, power lines, and other high points. One can look for them among low to medium-height grasses more so than in tall fields. They are also found along the weedy verges of roads, marsh edges, and mountain meadows up to 10,000 feet.

While visiting Zion National Park, be prepared for all types of weather conditions. Carry a good pair of hiking shoes as the trails are steep and elevated. It is essential to carry water and a map so that you don’t get lost in the park. The map can be downloaded from online sites or grabbed from the visitor’s center. Carry a camera because there will be many opportunities for bird watching. Take a break from your hectic life, indulge in nature’s beauty, and plan your trip to Zion National Park, an absolute gem!

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