tiger salamander
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.


rufous hummingbird

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. 

black bear

Scientific Name: Ursus americanus

Food: Omnivore

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.

northern flicker

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

Moose
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.


mule deer

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.

coyote

Scientific Name: Canis latrans

Food: Omnivores

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.

pika

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.

wild turkey
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.

beaver

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.

boreal toad

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.

bighorn sheep

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 

snowshoe hare
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.


elk

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 

mountain lion

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.

Stay Current with EPMS

Sign up today for our email updates filled with upcoming events, sales and special offers and important information to keep you current with EPMS happenings!

Connect with EPMS

  • White Facebook Icon
  • White Instagram Icon
  • White YouTube Icon
  • White TripAdvisor Icon
  • White Yelp Icon

Upcoming Special Events

Find us in Estes Park, gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park