Scientific Name: Ambystoma tigrinum
Food: Highly voracious predator feeding on worms, insects and frogs
Size: 7-14 inches in length
Lifespan: 12-15 years
Characteristics: Black/brown and yellow/green blotchy skin covers the body. Rarely seen because adults spend most of their lives in underground burrows near water.
Scientific Name: Selasphorus rufus
Food: Flower Nectar
Size: 3.2 to 3.7 inches in length
Lifespan: 3-5 years
Characteristics: Specialized flight adaptations in their bones, wings and feathers to hover and maneuver in any direction with great precision. Seen only in the summer due to migration patterns.
red tailed hawk
Scientific Name: Buteo jamaicensis
Food: Mice, ground squirrels, rabbits, reptiles, or other prey
Size: Body, 18 to 26 inches; Wingspan, 38 to 43 inches
Lifespan: 21 years
Characteristics: Red-tailed hawks are known for their brick-colored tails. Red-tailed hawks are monogamous and may mate for life.
Scientific Name: Ursus americanus
Size: 5 to 6 feet long
Lifespan: 20 years
Characteristics: Black bears are North America's most familiar and common bears. They typically live in forests and are excellent tree climbers. Despite their name, black bears can be blue-gray or blue-black, brown, cinnamon, or even (very rarely) white.
Scientific Name: Colaptes auratus
Food: Mainly insects, especially ants and beetles
Size: 12 inches in length
Lifespan: Unknown, thought to be only a few years
Characteristics: They have long, strong bills that are chisel shaped to bore into wood, and have strong legs to grasp vertical tree trunks and stiff tails that keep them propped up
animals of the park
wild, wacky, fuzzy and fun
Scientific Name: Alces alces
Food: Higher grasses, shrubs, pinecones, moss, and lichen
Size: 5-6 feet tall at shoulders
Lifespan: 15-20 years
Characteristics: Moose are the largest of all the deer species. They have long faces and muzzles that dangle over their chins. A flap of skin known as a bell sways beneath each moose's throat.
Scientific Name: Odocoileus hemionus
Food: Shrubs, trees and occasional grasses and forbs
Size: 3 feet tall at shoulders
Lifespan: 9-11 years
Characteristics: Named for their oversized ears that resemble a mule's ears, mule deer have a black-tipped white tail and white patch on the rump. They also have excellent hearing and eyesight that warns them of approaching dangers.
great horned owl
Scientific Name: Bubo virginianus
Food: Raccoons, rabbits, squirrels, skunks, falcons, and other owls
Size: Body, 18 to 25 inches; Wingspan, 3.3 to 4.8 feet
Lifespan: 5-15 years
Characteristics: The great horned owl is the most common owl of the Americas, easily recognizable because of the feather tufts on its head. These “plumicorns” resemble horns.
Scientific Name: Canis latrans
Size: Head and body, 32 to 37 inches in length; Tail, 16 inches long
Lifespan: Up to 14 years
Characteristics: Coyotes are very savvy and clever beast. Coyotes are formidable in the field where they enjoy keen vision and a strong sense of smell. At night they communicate with a distinctive call, which often develops into a raucous canine chorus.
Scientific Name: Ochonta princeps
Food: Sedges, grasses and wildflowers
Size: 6 inches in length
Lifespan: 12-15 years
Characteristics: American pikas only live in mountainous alpine terrain above 11,000 feet in elevation. These cuddly-looking characters have small, oval bodies and moderately large, round ears.
Scientific Name: Meleagris gallopavo
Food: Nuts, seeds, fruits, insects, and salamanders
Size: Body, 3.6 to 3.8 feet; Wingspan, 4.1 to 4.8 feet
Lifespan: 3-4 years
Characteristics: The turkey was Benjamin Franklin's choice for the United States's national bird. Only male turkeys display the ruffled feathers, fanlike tail, bare head, and bright beard commonly associated with these birds. Their gobble is a distinctive sound that can be heard a mile away.
yellow bellied marmot
Scientific Name: Marmota flaviventris
Food: Grasses, flowers, insects and even bird eggs when available
Size: Up to 2 feet in length
Lifespan: 13-15 years
Characteristics: One of the largest members of the squirrel family. Marmots have reddish-brown fur and a yellow belly, from which they get their name. They are related to woodchucks and groundhogs in other parts of the country.
Scientific Name: Castor canadensis
Food: Leaves, bark, twigs, roots, and aquatic plants
Size: Head and body, 23 to 39 inches; Tail, 7.75 to 12 inches
Lifespan: Up to 24 years
Characteristics: These large rodents waddle on land, but are graceful in water, using their large, webbed rear feet like swimming fins, and paddle-shaped tails like rudders. They have a set of transparent eyelids that function much like goggles, and their fur is naturally oily and waterproof.
Scientific Name: Bufo boreas
Food: Worms, ants, spiders and beetles, algae, carrion and detritus
Size: 3.7 to 4.3 inches in length
Lifespan: 9-12 years
Characteristics: Boreal toads are the only toad found in the park. They have warty brown speckled skin. Boreal toads live in a variety of wet habitats at altitudes between 8,000 and 11,500 feet, and hibernate in well insulated areas in the winter.
Scientific Name: Ovis canadensis
Food: Grasses in the summer, shrubs in the fall and winter
Size: 5-6 feet
Lifespan: 6-15 years
Characteristics: Bighorn sheep are gray/brown in color with white patches on their rump, muzzle and back of legs. They have true horns that they retain throughout their life. Rams have large horns that curl around their faces while ewes have smaller horns that curve slightly to a sharp point
Scientific Name: Lepus americanus
Food: Various kinds of woody vegetation, berries, herbaceous plants
Size: 16-20 inches
Lifespan: Up to 1 year
Characteristics: The aptly named snowshoe hare has particularly large feet and a winter-white coat. In the summer though, their fur turns brown, taking up to ten weeks to change color completely.
Scientific Name: Cervus canadensis
Food: Grasses, forbs and shrubs
Size: 4 to 5 feet tall at shoulder
Lifespan: 8-12 years
Characteristics: A dark brown mane, light-brown bodies and white rumps characterize both sexes. Only males have antlers, which grow in the spring and drop each winter. Elk are highly social animals and travel in various herd sizes throughout the year.
white tailed ptarmigan
Scientific Name: Lagopus leucura
Food: Buds, leaves, seeds, fruit, flowers, and insects
Size: 11.8-12.2 inches
Lifespan: 3-4 years
Characteristics: The smallest grouse in North America, the White-tailed Ptarmigan is pure white in the winter, and streaked brown and gray during the summer.
greenback cutthroat trout
Scientific Name: Oncorhynchus clarki somias
Food: Aquatic and terrestrial invertebrates
Size: Typically not more than 9 inches in length
Lifespan: 6-8 years
Characteristics: Once thought to be extinct, today this native species is Colorado's state fish. Greenback cutthroats have a crimson slash under the jaw, and numerous black spots across the top of the greenish body and tail. Their belly turns a bright crimson red during spawning season
Scientific Name: Puma concolor
Food: Powerful predator feeding on deer, elk, and smaller animals
Size: Head and body, 3.25 to 5.25 feet; Tail, 23.5 to 33.5 inches in length
Lifespan: 10-13 years
Characteristics: Mountain lion fur is unspotted and tan-brown in color with a whitish throat, belly and inner legs. The back of the ears and the tip of the tail are black. Long hind legs make them agile and impressive jumpers. They can leap as high as 18 feet vertically and cover 40 feet horizontally in one bound.