Bryce Canyon National Park is famous for its incredible landscapes and rock formations. While you are at the park you might encounter some pretty incredible animals too! Here is our list of a few animals that you should keep your eye out for the next time you visit Bryce Canyon National Park.
We are starting off our list with the Mule Deer. This is one of the most common mammals that you will see in the park. Mule Deers differ from Whitetail deer in two key ways. Mule Deer have bigger ears and their tails have a black tip at the end. Whitetail deer have tails with a white underside. They are average-sized for a deer and are reddish-brown during the summer and tend to be grayer in the winter. Mule deer are found west of the Missouri River and live in arid and rocky areas. This makes Bryce Canyon a perfect home for these deer. You can usually spot a mule deer in the meadows of the park. If you are lucky you may see one up close!
Steller’s Jays are easy to spot. You can’t miss their bright blue lower half that contrasts with their black upper half. The Steller’s Jay is found in higher elevations in the forest. In the winter months, they travel to lower elevations. You can see these beautiful birds in the Ponderosa Forest along the canyon rim in Bryce Canyon.
Utah Prairie Dog
Prairie dogs are actually rodents that are found within the squirrel family. There are five species of prairie dogs in the United States. The Utah Prairie Dog has a white tail and has black spots over its eyes, making it look like it has thick black eyebrows. These critters burrow underground to avoid predators and can be found in the meadows of the park. After years of disease and reduction methods, in 1973 the Utah Prairie Dog was added to the endangered species list. Since then the animals have been moved to the threatened species list with hopes that the population will grow. While these little guys are adorable, keep your distance, because they will bite!
From a distance, you might not be able to see any difference between the Uinta chipmunk compared to the 21 other species of chipmunks. If you find yourself closer, the Uinta chipmunk will have wide black stripes, while other species have thin black stripes on their backs. Even though you will see these animals scurrying around on the ground, they are actually tree-dwelling species. This means they nest in trees and hide in trees from surrounding predators. You will see the Uinta chipmunk all around the park, especially in the picnic areas, but please do not feed the chipmunks or any other animal. National parks across the country have issues of park visitors feeding animals when it is not permitted.
These birds are some of the biggest and most powerful birds in North America, following the Bald Eagle. Golden Eagles are federally protected under the Bald Eagle Protection Act of 1962. As adults, they have brown feathers with touches of gold on the back of their necks. Younger Golden Eagles are usually dark brown with flecks of white on their wings and tails. The Golden Eagle can fly up to 200 mph and carry eight pounds while they fly. You may spot Golden Eagles flying in the canyons of the park.
The pronghorn is a unique animal. In Latin, its name means American goat-antelope. But, it actually doesn’t belong to the goat or antelope family, it belongs to the Antilocapriade family. Pronghorns are the fastest animal in North America running up to 61 mph. You can spot reddish-tan pronghorns in the fields in, and surrounding, Bryce Canyon National Park.
Mountain Lions are the largest member of the cat family in the USA. They have a big appetite too. A grown mountain lion can eat one male deer a week if there are enough deer in their surrounding area. The color of their fur tends to vary, but usually, they have a white underside with a tan-colored coat. Mountain lions avoid humans, so if you see one consider yourself lucky. Your best chance of seeing a mountain lion in Bryce Canyon National Park is at night, along a quiet roadway in the southern end of the park.
The mountain chickadee is a quirky little bird. They fly from tree to tree and hang upside down on pine cones. Mountain Chickadees can be identified by their round bellies and big heads. The thing that differentiates them from other Chickadees is the white stripe over their eye. These cute birds are common throughout the park and can usually be seen in or around evergreen trees.
During your trip to Bryce Canyon National Park keep an eye out for these incredible animals. Remember to admire them from a distance and do not feed them, no matter how adorable they may be.