Zion National Park is more than a hiking and camping destination, it is also a 232 square mile sanctuary for endangered wildlife such as the Peregrine falcon, California condor, and bald eagle. So, why not make these beautiful and rare creatures part of your visit?!
Birding is a great activity to plan if you’re visiting Zion’s because it appeals to family members of all ages and abilities. If you four-year-old gets bored riding in the backpack carrier, hand them a pair of binoculars and challenge them to find as many species of birds as they can. If your grandmother is feeling to feeble to make the hike, she can still come with the family and feel engaged in an activity that requires no physical exertion.
Zion’s hosts 288 species of bird – plenty to be found! Here are a few things to bring with you if you want to make the most of your birding adventure at Zion’s.
- Binoculars: As I’ve said before, Zion National Park is 232 square miles. So, unless you plan on walking every trail and climbing every peak, binoculars are a must. They allow you to see birds from a distance as if they are right in front of you. You’ll also be able to identify them easier.
- Bird Checklist: Speaking of identifying birds, check out the Zion National Park Bird List. There are so many species listed! Additionally, the list provides you with information on where to find the birds and how rare or common sightings are. It’s a great resource, even if birding is secondary to your main objectives of hiking or climbing.
- Printout of Pictures: What good is a list of birds if you don’t know what they look like? Find a good collection of bird photos (like this one) so you can easily identify the birds your family finds. Make it a treasure hunt!
- Sunglasses: Remember birds fly…in the sky…with the sun behind them. Make spotting them easier by wearing sunglasses.
- Camera: Take your own photos of the birds you find, bring them home, and have your kids show their friends or put together a presentation for their class. With the proper resources, birding can be an engaging and fun learning experience for kids.
If you’re planning a trip to Zions, consider adding birding to your to-do list. The photos you take and experience you have may be the best souvenirs of all.