Here are seven places in the US great for wildlife watching.
1. Yellowstone National Park
I’m sure you’re not surprised to see Yellowstone here! The oldest national park in the country, Yellowstone is home to the largest concentration of mammals in the lower 48 states. Notable residents include bison, gray wolves, grizzly bears, elk, and river otters. The park also contains half of the world’s geothermal features, such as geysers and hot springs.
2. San Juan Islands
Looking for whales? Known as one of the top destinations in the world for whale watching, the San Juan Islands are perfect for observing these majestic animals. You can also expect to see orcas, bald eagles, sea lions, and porpoises. Don’t confuse San Juan with the capital of Puerto Rico; these islands are in Washington State.
3. Katmai National Park
Katmai National Park is known for two attractions: brown bears and volcanos. Located in Alaska, Katmai is the place to watch brown bears catch salmon flying out of streams. The park is also home to the largest volcanic eruption of the 20th century, where visitors can explore the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes. Other sightings in the park include caribou, wolves, porcupines, snowshoe hares, and dinosaur footprints!
4. US Virgin Islands
Interested in seeing wildlife underwater? Fly over to the US Virgin Islands, where you can discover more than 300 species of fish and 50 species of coral. Perfect for snorkeling and diving, you can also expect to see sea turtles, eagle rays, and seahorses. Above ground, be on the lookout for bats, the only native mammal on the islands.
5. New York City
You read that right, and no, I’m not talking about pigeons and raccoons. Every year, more than 200 different bird species pass through the Big Apple. This is because the city is located at a geographic nexus of the Atlantic Flyway bird migration route. Look up, and you may just catch species such as Scarlet Tanagers, Pileated Woodpeckers, and Eastern Blue Birds.
6. Theodore Roosevelt National Park
Named after the “conservation president,” Theodore Roosevelt National Park is home to wild horses, prairie dogs, coyotes, and bison. You can also expect to see longhorn steer. The steers are kept by the park to reflect what Theodore Roosevelt experienced over 100 years ago, back when cattle ranching was a boom.
7. Everglades National Park
Take a trip down to Florida and discover Everglades National Park. As the largest mangrove ecosystem in North America, Everglades National Park has over 35 wildlife species such as the Florida panther, Eastern Cottontail bobcat, and egret. It’s also the only place in the world where both alligators and crocodiles exist!
If you’re unable to travel this year, no problem. The best part about wildlife watching is you can do it anywhere. From your own backyard to your nearby park, take time to get to know your local wildlife, and we’re certain you won’t regret it!