Even if you are not a birdwatcher, hiking around the beautiful park you will undoubtedly see various bird species. Wetlands and coastal areas, especially those covered with willows, aspen, and cottonwoods attract the largest number of different bird species.
One of the best places to observe water birds and birds of prey is Hayden Valley. Here you can see sandhill cranes nesting in this area. Along the river, you can find lots of ducks, geese, and American white pelicans, bald eagles and osprey hunting for fish, and northern harriers trying to catch some rodents.
Other good spots are Blacktail Pond, Floating Lake Island, and the Madison River. The best birdwatching season may be spring, as during this period birds are very active and lots of migrating species come back from their winter journeys. You can find them in their best plumage, singing and attracting mates. Then, they search the best place for nesting and defend their territories from others. From mid-May until early July you can easily meet a large number of birds during your morning walks. Starting from August and till October birds migrate and this is also a good time for seeing various species.
In early November you can find the tundra swans on the water bodies. Those that stay in the park year round include common raven, Canada goose, trumpeter swan, dusky grouse (formerly blue grouse), gray jay, red-breasted nuthatch, American dipper, and mountain chickadee. There are also a few species that come here for the winter, such as common goldeneyes, bohemian waxwings, and rough-legged hawks.