Birding Bliss: America’s Top National Parks for Bird Watching
Bird watching, also known as “birding,” has soared in popularity recently. It’s a fascinating hobby that involves observing and identifying various bird species in their natural habitats.
The quest to find those perfect spots where birds congregate makes bird-watching so exciting. Whether it’s a forest, a wetland, a towering mountain range, or even a local park, birders are always looking for these havens of feathered activity. These places are gateways to extraordinary encounters, where birders can spot rare and elusive species or witness fascinating bird behaviors up close.
The team at Birda, the birding app, compiled a list of the top national parks in America for birding. The National Park Service manages an extensive network of 424 parks, each with its own unique offerings. These parks showcase remarkable natural landscapes and several cultural and historical sites.
Birding at the top national parks
According to the bird-watching app, Acadia National Park in Maine is one of the best for birding. They said that Acadia National Park has an astonishing variety of 261 bird species. The park is a sanctuary for birds of prey, seabirds, and boreal birds. Numerous avian residents call this park their year-round home, while others use it as a stopover during their seasonal migrations. The park itself is on the coast of Maine and includes beaches, lakes, cliffs, and mountains.
Additionally, securing the second spot on their top 10 list is Everglades National Park in Florida. With a population of over 300 bird species, this park serves as a sanctuary for diverse avian life. Among the notable feathered residents of Everglades National Park are the Wood Stork, Roseate Spoonbill, White Ibis, Green-backed Heron, Snowy Egret, Red-tailed Hawks, Anhinga, Indigo Bunting, and Red-bellied Woodpecker.
Other national parks making it onto the list are the Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona and the Olympic National Park in Washington. See what other national parks made the top 10 best for bird watching. Find out which other national parks have made it onto this list here.
Most Popular National Parks In America
Approximately 237 million people visited American national parks in 2020, representing a 28% year-over-year decrease attributed to the coronavirus pandemic. Many parks were forced to close to combat the spread of the virus, but that’s not the whole story—when the parks were open, many of them saw record crowds as throngs of people desperate to safely enjoy nature descended onto parks when they reopened.
President Woodrow Wilson in 1916 signed the act creating the National Park Service to leave natural and historic phenomenons “unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations.” Since then, our national parks have welcomed visitors from around the world to experience some of the best the country has to offer and showcase the country’s natural beauty and cultural heritage. Today, the country’s 63 national parks contain at least 247 species of endangered or threatened plants and animals, more than 75,000 archaeological sites, and 18,000 miles of trails.
To determine the most popular national parks in the United States, Stacker compiled data from the National Park Service on the number of recreational visits each site had in 2020. Keep reading to discover the 50 most popular national parks in the United States, in reverse order from #50 to #1. And be sure to check with individual parks before you visit to find out about ongoing, pandemic-related safety precautions at www.nps.gov/coronavirus.