Undoubtedly, one of the more popular species now found in Yellowstone Park is the gray wolf (Canis lupus). Many park visitors spend time watching for wolves in the park’s Lamar Valley. (Silver Gate Lodging is the preferred place to stay for many wolf watchers.) The adult male gray wolf stands 26 to 38 inches high […]
Trumpeter swans are the largest waterfowl in North America, and easily the biggest flyers in Yellowstone. The wingspan of males (cobs) can reach seven feet. Cobs weigh between 25 and 30 pounds, while females (pens) weigh 23 to 27 pounds. The trumpeter is generally bigger and heavier than the eagle.
The Pronghorn is the fastest North American land animal, capable of reaching speeds of up to 60 miles per hour. The pronghorn’s speed is its main defense against predators. The newborns, for the first few days of their lives, are vulnerable to coyotes.
Some visitors will have the opportunity to view a wild moose. The moose (Alces alces) is the largest member of the deer family with mature bulls weighing more than 1,000 pounds. The bull moose produce large palmate antlers which are shed annually. Although cow moose do not have antlers, both bulls and cows do have […]
Seeing a grizzly in Yellowstone is priceless. Getting too close to one is foolish. The Grizzly Bear is a powerful predator, capable of out sprinting a horse, and weighing as much as 350-600 pounds. Grizzlies are omnivorous, meaning they eat both meat and plants. In Yellowstone, grizzlies feed on elk, trout, bison carrion, pinenuts, grasses, […]
The elk is the most abundant of the large mammals of Yellowstone National Park. Oftentimes reaching the size of a large horse, elk can be seen throughout Yellowstone year-around. The cows and calves oftentimes travel in large groups of a hundred or more during the summer months, while the males tend to travel by themselves […]
Bald eagles are one of two species of eagle in Yellowstone, the other is the golden eagle. They are raptors and carnivores, seeking a diet of fish, waterfowl, rodents and small mammals. They also scavenge from the carcasses of large animals such as elk and bison.
Mule deer, also known as black-tail deer, are ideally suited to the rugged slopes of the Rocky Mountains. A large number inhabit the park in summer, but most migrate to lower elevations, or “winter range” outside the park in the winter. Like the elk and bison, mule deer were reduced to dangerously low numbers in […]
Having survived the same extermination campaigns that eliminated wolves from the park between 1910 and 1930, coyotes have by default become the predominant canine predator. The restoration of the wolf in Yellowstone has changed this status.