Observing the birds of the Grand Canyon is a popular activity among visitors to the national park – especially in the South Rim region. A unique fact about the Grand Canyon is that it is part of a path that is a major route of migratory for birds; as a result of this fact, visitors to the park have the unique capability of viewing a wide assortment of bird species, including the endangered California condor. This is one of the rarest and absolute larges land birds in all of North America. During the summer and autumn months, you may be able to catch a quick glimpse of these amazing birds and witness the majesty of their 9 and a half foot wingspan. In visiting the Grand Canyon, you will likely observe other incredible birds, such as the Bald Eagle, Red-Tail Hawks, Peregrine falcons, and Kestrels. In this guide, you will be introduced to these 5 incredible birds of the Grand Canyon.
1. The California Condor
As mentioned previously, one of the most incredible birds of the Grand Canyon is the California condor. This is a very rare and large bird. The wingspan of such creatures exceeds nine feet and the weight of the creature could reach up to 23 pounds. By utilizing the thermal updrafts that occur naturally in the atmosphere, these birds have the ability to glide up to 50 miles in just one hour. Many may travel over 100 miles in search of food, without exerting a tremendous amount of energy. The most common locations to observe these amazing birds within the Grand Canyon include the tall conifer trees, the cliffs, and snags that have the ability to serve as roost sites.
2. The Bald Eagle
Beginning approximately in 1985, the bald eagle began to make the Grand Canyon its home as a result of stumbling upon new food sources. This incredible bird gained an immense amount of popularity when it was designated at the national bird of the United States. It is a highly recognizable creature that has a white head and tail and a brown body. Its wingspan reaches approximately 80 inches. At one point, this bird was placed on the Endangered Species and Threatened Species list; however, it has recently been removed because of the fact that it now thrives in and around the Grand Canyon. The most common regions to view these creatures in the Grand Canyon include areas that are within a mile of the Colorado River, the edges of cliffs, rock pinnacles, and trees such as sycamores and ponderosa pines.
3. The Red-Tailed Hawk
The next of the most incredible birds of the Grand Canyon is the red-tailed hawk. While this bird is considered to be one of the most common types of hawks located in the North America region, they are still absolutely fascinating to watch. It is common to observe these birds above open areas, such as fields. While they glide and soar in many regions around the Grand Canyon, they are distinguishable by their desire to soar in circles, high above the ground. They are similar in appearance to the Eagle; however, their wingbeats are exceptionally heavy.
4. The Peregrine Falcon
The peregrine falcons are next on our list of incredible birds of the Grand Canyon. At one point in time, these birds were considered to be an endangered species within the United States; however, since the ban of DDT and other forms of pesticides, the birds now soar in abundance. While these creatures may be seen all over the world – with the exception of Antarctica – there is nothing quite as beautiful as seeing them soar high above the majestic Grand Canyon. These birds have a wingspan of up to nearly 4 feet and may live up to 17 years in the wild. They are most commonly found in open areas, and may be discovered close to bodies of water.
5. The Kestrel
The kestrel makes the list of the most incredible birds of the Grand Canyon. This is the smallest, but, one of the most common falcons found in the United States. It enjoys flying and living in open country spaces and nesting in small cavities located in trees. While visiting the Grand Canyon, you will want to observe the edges of the woods, forest clearings, and areas where small perches are located to catch a glimpse of this beautiful bird. Female birds tend to prefer open spaces, while male kestrels seem to prefer more confined spaces.
There are many incredible birds of the Grand Canyon. When visiting the national park, you should ensure that you bring along a pair of binoculars to observe these beautiful and fascinating creatures in their natural habitat. Additionally, you should make certain that you bring along a digital camera with a zoom feature that will permit you to capture images of these amazing creatures. The Grand Canyon is more than just a park and a lovely place to visit; it is a home to a tremendous amount of birds and other wildlife. By knowing what incredible birds of the Grand Canyon you are likely to see, you have the capability of catching a glimpse of these beautiful creatures!