Wildlife in the Grand Canyon

The wildlife program at the Grand Canyon provides habitat for 355 bird species, 89 mammalian species and 56 reptile species.

Below are some of the more common wildlife that you may see during your visit.

Bighorn Sheep
When hiking down the Grand Canyon it not uncommon to see these impressive animals hoping along the narrow edges of the inner canyon. They are very adept to steep terrain and very sure footed. They feed early in the morning mainly on grasses. They are found on the steepest slopes of the canyon.

Bobcat - picture
You probably won't see a bobcat while hiking the canyon. They usually prowl at night and are invisible during the day. They feed on deer, squirrels, rabbits and other small animals. They are very common to Arizona and are seen frequently in towns and cities drinking out of swimming pools.

Elk - Video
These are huge animals. You can't miss them as their distinguishing feature is their antlers. Their antlers can weigh up to 50 pounds. They are dangerous during mating season and should be avoided during this time.

Mountain Lion - picture
The mountain lion is the largest of the wildcats in the United States. They are very secretive and as a result they are more difficult to study. The Rangers have tagged some of the kittens and are currently keeping track of them. They feed on deer, elk, coyotes, and bighorn sheep. There have been no attacks in the Grand Canyon park but there have been sightings by visitors. Use caution if you should come across a mountain lion.

Mule Deer  - Video - Mother and babies
Mule deer are found on both the north and south rim of the Grand Canyon.They are frequently seen and can be recognized by their spots. They are larger than the white tailed deer.

California Condor - Video
These birds are the rarest birds found in the world and are the biggest. They can weigh up to 23 pounds. They are scavengers and feed on dead cattle, deer and rabbits. They lay their eggs on the ground and both parents take responsibility for incubation.

They typically lay an egg every other year and the young stay in the nest until they are 5 to 6 months old. There are currently over 70 condors flying freely in the Grand Canyon. Look for them roosting in trees especially during the warmer months of the year.

Bald Eagle - picture
They have recently been taken off the Federal Endangered Species List. They don't develop their white head until their 4th or 5th year. This bird is most recognizable as the United States national bird symbol. It is highly revered in the US and to willfully and fatally harm the species is a federal offense which could result in jail time. It is not uncommon to see them in the Grand Canyon park.

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