Bryce Canyon has a wide variety of wildlife, ranging from mule deer -- which seem to be almost everywhere -- to the golden-mantled ground squirrel and Uinta chipmunk. Also in the park are black-tailed jackrabbits, coyotes, striped skunks, and deer mice. Occasionally, visitors catch a glimpse of a mountain lion, most likely on the prowl in search of a mule-deer dinner. Elk and pronghorn may also be seen at higher elevations.
The Utah prairie dog, listed as a threatened species, is actually a rodent and not a distant canine relative. It inhabits park meadows in busy colonies and can be fascinating to watch. However, don't get too close because its fleas may carry disease.
There are many birds in the park. You're bound to hear the obnoxious call of the Steller's Jays. Other birds often seen include violet-green swallows, common ravens, Clark's nutcrackers, American robins, red-shafted flickers, dark-eyed juncos, and chipping sparrows. Watch for white-throated swifts as they perform their exotic acrobatics along cliff faces. The park is also home, at least part of the year, to peregrine falcons, red-tailed hawks, golden eagles, bald eagles, and great horned owls.
The Great Basin rattlesnake, although pretty, should be given a wide berth. Sometimes growing to more than 5 feet long, this rattler is the park's only poisonous reptile. Happily, like most rattlesnakes, it is just as anxious as you are to avoid a confrontation. Other reptiles you may see are the mountain short-horned lizard, tree lizard, side-blotched lizard, and northern sagebrush lizard.
Spotting Peregrine Falcons -- For a good chance to see peregrine falcons, go to Paria View, sit quietly away from the crowds, and then look out over the amphitheater, where these beautiful birds can often be spotted.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.