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State of Alaska

Ptarmigan
Willow Ptarmigan Lagopus lagopus ©Anita Ritenour - Wikipedia Website

Birding Alaska

Alaska is a rugged, wild and spectacularly beautiful place that provides home at least part of the year to some 474 documented species of birds. A vast wilderness of snow-capped mountains and wide glacially carved valleys, tidal flats and forests, rivers and lakes, alpine tundra and glaciated peaks provide habitat for a diversity of birds. Birds travel to Alaska from all over the world to breed during the short arctic summer and to feast in the abundance of available food. Alaska’s 33,904-mile coastline boasts fjords, estuaries, bays, rocky and sandy beaches, and extensive mudflats that provide fuel to migrating shorebirds and waterfowl. Millions of nesting seabirds can be found along the rugged coastline of southeast Alaska and the Aleutian Archipelago. These rookeries are a delight to birder’s who come to watch the thousands of murres, kittiwakes, gulls, and puffins. In addition, Alaska’s expansive tundra provides nesting habitat for millions of migratory species such as tundra and trumpeter swans, emperor geese, brants, ducks and terns. Just as spectacular to view are the bald eagles which gather in the thousands every year to feed on salmon in Haines.

In addition to the millions of migratory birds that make Alaska their home for part of the year, Alaska hosts many specialty birds. These specialty birds include all five species of loons, four species of eiders, three species of Ptarmigan, Pacific and American Golden Povers, Hudsonian and bar-tailed godwits, all three jaegers, Aleutian terns, Arctic warbler, Bluethroat, northern wheatear, yellow and white wagtails, snow bunting, and gray-cheeked thrush. Asian vagrants such as brambling, Eurasian Wigeon, Terek Sandpiper, Siberian Rubythroat, and Hawfinch are rare visitors to places such as the Pribolof Islands on the western outskirts of Alaska.

Whether you are coming to search out the elusive whiskered auklet near Dutch Harbor or to witness one of the largest gatherings of spring-migrating shorebirds in Cordova you will want to take your time and plan well in advance for your birding adventure in Alaska. Alaska’s size and diversity of habitats can be a challenge to visiting birders who do not know exactly when and where they want to go. Alaska has many recognized birding-tour companies offering high quality birdwatching trips with experienced local birders who can arrange trips and make sure you get the most out of your birding adventure in Alaska. Even if your trip to Alaska doesn’t take you out into the wilderness, you can do some of the finest birding in the country in Anchorage. Anchorage is the only city of its size that still has breeding loons. Breeding red-throated, common, and Pacific loons can be found on many of the city lakes and are easily accessible to birders.

The best time to visit Alaska depends on the type of birding you want to focus on. In general, the beginning of May through the end of September is the best birding season. Some of the most impressive shorebird migrations begin at the end of April through the middle of May when snow is still on the ground and temperatures can still be chilly. Breeding songbirds begin arriving in early May through the first week of June. Winter months can be the best time to observe wintering eiders, long-tailed ducks, whiskered auklets, and harlequin ducks along the coast.

Top Sites

Barrow Area

Satellite View

Barrow is the northern most town in the U.S., and is situated on the arctic coast of Alaska at 71o18 North by 156o40 West. The population is about 4500, of which a majority is native Inupiat. Although many modern conveniences are available in Barrow, the subsistence life style is still much in evidence, and fishing, hunting, and whaling are a way of life and central to the culture. Barrow has been continuously occupied for 5,000 years by people who have learned how to live in the harsh arctic climate. A new Heritage Center, opened in 1999, should be on the list of sites for every visitor.

Barrow is one of the top 100 birding spots in America. Although the diversity of birds is somewhat small, the annual visitors are spectacular. All four species of Eider ducks migrate along the coast and nest in the tundra around Barrow. Numerous other ducks and waterfowl also nest in the millions of small puddles and lakes across the tundra. Barrow is also prime habitat for many shorebirds. Perhaps the most spectacular summer visitor and breeder is the snowy owl, from which comes the Inupiat name for Barrow, Ukpeagvik, which translates to place to hunt snowy owls. Now days the owls are observed and studied.

Barrow is the only spot in America one can reliably expect to see the elusive Ross's gull, which shows up, sometimes in great numbers during the last week of September through the first couple of weeks of October.

Contributor

Sirena Brownlee

Expert Birder, Xtremely Alaska, LLC

Anchorage, Alaska

guides@alaska.com

Brian & Leslie Watson

Barrow Area Contributor

King Eider Inn, Barrow, Alaska

eider@barrow.com

http://www.kingeider.net

Number of Species

Number of bird species: 514

As of 1 January 2017

Endemics

Number of endemics: Possibly 2

McKay's Bunting Plectrophenax hyperboreus is generally treated as endemic, but cross breeding with snow bunting has been observed and some believe it merely to be a sub-species of that.

Amchitka Cormorant Phalacrocorax kenyoni is considered by some to be a full and endemic species. Hopwever, most authorities treat it as a sub-species of Phalacrocorax pelagicus and some treat it as con-specific with the nominate race.

Checklist

iGoTerraChecklist

iGoTerra Checklist

Fatbirder Associate iGoTerra offers the most comprehensive and up to date birds lists on the web

Useful Reading

A Birder's Guide to Alaska

by George C West | ABA | 2008 | Paperback | 662 Pages, B/w illus, tabs, maps

ISBN: 9781878788481

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Alaska Birds: An Introduction to Familiar Species

by James R Kavanagh | Waterford Press | 2001 | Unbound | Colour Illustrations

ISBN: 1583551220

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Birds of Alaska

by Todd Telander | 2013 | Falcon Guides | Paperback | 96 Pages

ISBN: 9780762779314

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Field Guide to Bird Nests and Eggs of Alaska's Coastal Tundra

by Tim D Bowman | Alaska Sea Grant College Program | 2008 | Spiralbound | 81 Pages, 600 Photos

ISBN: 9781566121293

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Guide to Birdwatching in Alaska

by Paul Doherty | All Region DVD | 2002 | Bird Images Video Guides | 90 Minutes

ISBN: 5065000721046

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Guide to the Birds of Alaska

by Robert H Armstrong | Alaska Northwest Books | 2015 | Paperback | 368 Pages, 900 Colour Photos

ISBN: 9781941821428

Buy this book from NHBS.com

The Birds of the Seward Peninsula, Alaska

by B Kessel | University of Alaska Press | 1989 | Hardback | 33 Pages, 19 b/w Plates, maps, line drawings

ISBN: 0912006293

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Useful Information

State Bird

Willow Ptarmigan Lagopus lagopus

Organisations

American Bald Eagle Foundation

Website

The Alaska Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve is managed by the State of Alaska Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation with the assistance of the 13 member Alaska Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve Advisory Council. Interpretive Wildlife Display and Education Center Located in Haines, Alaska; featuring a unique diorama of wildlife found in the Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve.

Anchorage Audubon Society

Website

The mission of Anchorage Audubon Society is to provide opportunities for learning about and enjoying wildlife and the natural environment, and to promote conservation of wildlife and protection of the natural environment through research, education, and action. We have about 1,500 members. The Anchorage Audubon Society serves the birding needs of Southcentral Alaska and the Kenai Peninsula. We offer informational resources as well as organized events like field trips and outings. Please browse through our site and come back often for the latest calendars and schedules.

Arctic Audubon Society

Facebook Page

Arctic Audubon has worked to protect Alaskan ecosystems by encouraging research, education, and management. We have consistently kept up-to-date on the conservation issues that face Alaska. Currently, we are most concerned with the Tanana Valley State Forest Management Plan, proposed oil and gas development in the Minto Flats southwest of Fairbanks, protection of critical habitat areas in the NPR-A, and responsible conservation of Alaska's wildlife refuges.

Audubon Alaska

Website

From the icy, bountiful waters of the Arctic Ocean to the misty, salmon-rich rainforests of the Tongass National Forest, Audubon Alaska works to conserve the spectacular birds and wildlife—and their habitats—of the Great Land to ensure their place for future generations. We employ science and cutting-edge mapping technology to drive our conservation priorities, with an emphasis on public lands and waters. Millions of birds flock to Alaska each spring from around the globe, making this a crucial place for birds worldwide.

Fish & Wildlife Service

Website

Visitors and Educators will find environmental education and natural and cultural history interpretation is provided at refuges in the form of visitor centers, displays, handouts, informative staffs, and websites. Come visit an Alaska National Wildlife Refuge for a once in a lifetime experience that is meant to be experienced throughout a lifetime.

Juneau Audubon Society

Website

Juneau is one of Alaska's nicest places to go birding. The combination of mountains, forest, wetlands, inter-tidal, and marine habitats, all accessible from the Juneau road and trail system, provides for extensive and diverse birding opportunities.

Kachemak Bay Birders

Website

Kachemak Bay Birders, established in 2008, is an informal organization of individuals interested in birds, birding, and the conservation of birds. We have no membership fees; our meetings and trips are free and open to the public.

Kodiak Audubon

Website

The mission of Audubon Alaska is to conserve Alaska's natural ecosystems focusing on birds, other wildlife, and their habitats for the benefit and enjoyment of current and future generations…

Mat-Su Birders

Website

A club in Alaska's beautiful Matanuska-Susitna Valley devoted to watching wild birds.

Nature Conservancy in Alaska

Webpage

The mission of The Nature Conservancy is to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends. We’ve been working in Alaska to do just that.

Prince William Sound Audubon Society

PO Box 2396 99574 Cordova - AK - US

Reserves

Abbreviations Key: See the appropriate Continent Page (or Country Page of those used on country sub-divisions)

Alaska National Wildlife Refuges

Website

Clickable list of refuges…

Alaska State Parks

Website

The state division responsible for parks. Links lead to parklands, state parks, and wildlife refuges in Alaska.

MWR Creamer's Field

Website

Satellite View

At Creamer's Refuge wildlife and people share the forest, wetlands, ponds, and open fields. Creamer's Refuge protects and enhances quality habitat for a diversity of wildlife, especially waterfowl and other migratory birds, while also providing for compatible public uses, such as wildlife viewing, research, and nature education…

NF Chugach

Webpage

Satellite View

This stunning landscape stretches across south-central Alaska, from the salty waters and snowy peaks of Prince William Sound to the fabulous salmon and trout streams of the Kenai Peninsula, covering an area the size of New Hampshire. It is one of the few places left in the world where glaciers still grind valleys into the hard rock of the earth…

NP Denali

Webpage

Satellite View

Denali is six million acres of wild land, bisected by one ribbon of road. Travelers along it see the relatively low-elevation taiga forest give way to high alpine tundra and snowy mountains, culminating in North America's tallest peak, 20,310' Denali. Wild animals large and small roam un-fenced lands, living as they have for ages. Solitude, tranquility and wilderness await.

NWR Arctic

Webpage

Satellite View

During the brief arctic summer, the North Slope is home to millions of birds. Many come to nest and raise their young. Others come to molt or simply to pass through on migration. A few species are present year-round. Rock and Willow Ptarmigan are the most abundant birds during winter and are found in patches of willows where they feed mainly on the buds. Ravens are the most conspicuous winter birds. A few Gyrfalcons and Snowy Owls may also be present, depending on the abundance of prey.

NWR Kenai

Webpage

Satellite View

The Kenai Refuge consists of the western slopes of the Kenai Mountains and forested lowlands bordering Cook Inlet. The lowlands are composed of spruce and birch forests intermingled with hundreds of lakes. The Kenai Mountains with their glaciers rise to more than 6,000 feet presenting a barrier on the southeastern boundary of the refuge. The refuge is a miniature Alaska with some of all habitat types of Alaska -- tundra, mountains, wetlands, and forests. Kenai Refuge was established by President Roosevelt to preserve and maintain the large population of moose on the Kenai Peninsula. In addition, the refuge is host to Dall sheep, mountain goat, caribou, coyote, wolf, grizzly bear, black bear, lynx, wolverine, beaver, small mammals, and birds.

NWR Tetlin

Webpage

Satellite View

Nestled within the Tanana River Valley, the abundant wetlands and forests of the Tetlin National Wildlife Refuge welcome thousands of birds and people crossing the border into Alaska each year.

NWR Yukon Flats

Webpage

Satellite View

The Yukon Flats National Wildlife Refuge is one of more than 540 refuges in the National Wildlife Refuge System, the only national network of lands in the world set aside principally for the management of fish and wildlife resources. Whether visiting its wild lands or exploring this website, you’re sure to find something that stirs your imagination. Don’t be surprised. Generations have felt the same wonder when confronted by a landscape that does not reflect the passage of time. It is common for visitors to sense they have stepped back into a different century.

SP Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve

Webpage

Satellite View

The Alaska Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve was created by the State of Alaska in June 1982. The Preserve was established to protect and perpetuate the world's largest concentration of Bald Eagles and their critical habitat. It also sustains and protects the natural salmon runs…

Forums & Mailing Lists

Alaska Birding

Mailing Group

AK Birding is for discussion of Alaska birding and wild birds only. Suggested topics are bird sightings, status, distribution, behavior, identification and birding locations. Announcements for Alaska birding trips generally available to the public are also appropriate, although discretion is required.

Alaska Rare Bird Alert

Sightings

A way for Alaskan birders, or birders in Alaska to pass on information about rare and unusual wild bird sightings occuring within the state. This group is only for posting rare birds found in Alaska

Guides & Tour Operators

Click on WAND for tours, guides, lodges and more…

Alaska Tours

Tour Operator

Alaska bird watching is a birders dream. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game reports 500 bird species populate or pass through Alaska seeking breeding, overwintering, resting, and refueling sites and some of the best Alaska bird watching is on St Paul Island in the Pribilof Islands home to 300 different species.

Birding Ecotours - Bird Treks

Tour Operator

Set tours and custom tours - full range available

High Lonesome Ecotours

Tour Operator

Why choose High Lonesome Ecotours for your birding trips in Alaska? First, we offer a small group experience where economically feasible with typically 6 to 12 participants. Second, we visit the most popular birding hot spots in Alaska, and we schedule it so that you can do one trip, or string together as many as five trips to different desitnations…

Nahanni River Tours

Tour Operator

For nearly two decades Neil Hartling and Barry Beales of Nahanni River Adventures and Whitewolf Expeditions have fine tuned the most extensive offerings of the best of the north. In 1997 the two companies joined together to capitalise on the strengths of each outfit. The resulting selection has been referred to as the life list of northern rivers - all must do`s.

St Paul Island Tours

Tour Operator

We offer a variety of tours available May through mid-October, from quick visits of 3 days/2 nights to 8 days/7 nights for in-depth exploration of the island and birding spots. Each includes round-trip airfare from Anchorage to St. Paul, shared accommodations and guide services.

Wilderness Birding Adventures

Tour Operator

We lead small groups throughout Alaska in search of birds, wildlife, and wild places. Specializing in remote destinations, unique experiences, and wilderness travel, Wilderness Birding Adventures is THE choice for those seeking to bird Alaska with Alaskans. With the most complete selection of birding trips offered in Alaska, we welcome novice and expert birders alike, and are happy to assist you in finding the perfect fit.

Trip Reports

Click on WAND for tours, guides, lodges and more…

CloudBirders

Trip Report Repository

CloudBirders was created by a group of Belgian world birding enthusiasts and went live on 21st of March 2013. They provide a large and growing database of birding trip reports, complemented with extensive search, voting and statistical features.

2009 [06 June] - Chuck Bell

Report

…Our small group met our guides from Wilderness Birding Adventures at a B&B in Fairbanks…

2010 [06 June] - Scott Bowers

Report

This trip to Alaska involved hiking on St. George Island in the Pribilofs, hiking in Denali National Park, and boating in the Petersburg area…

2011 [06 June] - Greg Smith - The Travelling Naturalist

Report PDF

It took all of us about three days to arrive in Anchorage before the start of our trip, but by this morning we had everyone but two. We walked down to Cook Inlet from our lodging at the Copper Whale to bird the edge and work our way down to Westchester Lagoon…

2012 [06 June] - April Grunspan - Alaska and British Columbia

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Avie, my husband, and I took a fourteen day cruise on Holland America's flagship MS Amsterdam from June 15 - 29. This is the last year Holland America is offering this itinerary and we'd been speaking about trying to bird Alaska for several years. This seemed like the perfect opportunity and we grabbed it…

2012 [06 June] - Charles Spagnoli

Report PDF

From May 31 to June 11, 2012, I took a birding trip to Alaska - the first couple of days on my own, and then on the Victor Emanuel Nature Tours (VENT) organized tour to Gambell and Nome. VENT is well enough known that I don’t have to sing their praises, but it was my first tour with them and I thought they did an excellent job; in particular you can’t do much better for guides than David Wolf and Kevin Zimmer. Actually, it wasn’t until after the tour, when I was looking into recent splits and the way they affected my life list, that I discovered exactly how prominent Kevin’s name is in the birding world. It seems like he’s written every paper on bird speciation that’s out there…

2013 [06 June] - Kevin Zimmer

Report PDF

It seems as if I often begin Alaska trip reports with some variation of “No two trips to Alaska are ever the same,” and this year’s Barrow Extension was a perfect example. After more than a week of persistent warm, sunny weather that stretched from Nome to Denali for those carrying on from the Alaska Mainland tour, and from Denali through Seward for those carrying over from the Grand Alaska tour, we arrived in Barrow to find temperatures in the mid-30s and wind chills in the low-20s…

2013 [06 June] - Megan Crewe & Pepe Rojas

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Few places in North America evoke the "last frontier" feeling that Alaska does. It's vast (twice the size of Texas) and wild (fewer than one million people live there) and much of it is unlike anywhere that most of us have ever been… ..

2013 [07 July] - Barry Lyon

Report PDF

For most of us, our notion of “Alaska” is a land of noble scenery, a bigger than life “last frontier” punctuated by high mountains, vast glaciers, wild animals, and the midnight sun. Such visions of Alaska are, in fact, accurate. Alaska is a land of arresting landscapes; its wildlife is spectacular; and it is a frontier, honed by rugged climactic conditions and equally rugged terrain. However, the Alaska of Anchorage, the Alaska of salmon-filled rivers, and the Alaska of Mt. McKinley are also places long since discovered by the “mainstream.”

2013 [10 October] - Dave Stejskal & Pepe Rojas

Report

…The one bird that we did come to see, the fabulous Ross's Gull, was, thankfully, present in dizzying numbers during our stay. I had seen a grand total of nine Ross's Gulls up to that point in the world over nearly thirty years of guiding tours (the Pribilofs, Nome, Barrow, and Churchill), and we blew by that number in the first 30 minutes out at the base of the Pt. Barrow spit…

2014 [10 October] - Eric Hynes & Tom Reed

Report

...A significant surf with waves breaking right on the beach really churned up the zooplankton and generated a phalarope and gull feeding frenzy literally at the water's edge. Red Phalaropes, Glaucous Gulls, and Black-legged Kittiwakes were numerous and cooperative. Present in lower numbers but no less cooperative were the beautiful Ross's Gulls and first winter Thayer's Gulls. What made our views of these birds so memorable was the glorious light. How could you ever forget those pink bellies?...

2015 [06 June] - Cameron Cox

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...If you want a face-to-face encounter with a Tufted Puffin a trip to Alaska’s St Paul Island will deliver that and more. Then there are the “normal sights”, jaegers patrolling the tundra, Boreal Chickadees scolding from clumps of spruce, Pectoral Sandpipers hooting and fighting like tiny owls with serious rage issues. It all becomes overwhelming after a while.

2015 [06 June] - Chris Benesh - Pribilofs & Denali

Report

...Highlights from the Denali section of the trip included great looks at Gyrfalcon, Spruce Grouse, American Three-toed Woodpecker and, best of all, a Northern Hawk Owl we saw along the Denali Highway. There were a number of interesting mammal sightings along the way, too, with Moose and a variety of pinnipeds being highlights.

2015 [06 June] - Chris Benesh & Tom Johnson

Report

...After reconfiguring our transportation (thanks for your help, Kris!), an early morning start out the Kougarok Rd. led us to the land of Willow Ptarmigan and Bluethroats, those lovely Old World gems. After pauses to enjoy a Rusty Blackbird, flocks of Greater White-fronted Geese, and other wonderful arctic sights, we arrived near Coffee Dome, the arena for our search for Bristle-thighed Curlews.

2015 [06 June] - Megan Edwards Crewe & Pepe Rojas - Nome, Seward & Barrow

Report

...We began with a visit to some feeders near town, where we enjoyed great views of Pine Grosbeak, White-winged Crossbill, Red-breasted Nuthatch, Pine Siskin, and Rufous Hummingbird, and had wonderful studies of Downy and Hairy woodpeckers side by side.

2016 [05 May] - Pribilof Islands, Nome, Barrow, Denali & Kenai Peninsula

Report

2016 [06 June] - Craig Robson & Mark Beaman

PDF Report

The highlights among the 193 bird species that we enjoyed in 2016 were too numerous to mention, but included: Spruce Grouse, Emperor Goose, over 100 Spectacled Eiders, Steller’s and King Eiders, Gyrfalcon, Hudsonian Godwit, Black Turnstone, Surfbird, Rock Sandpiper, Bristlethighed Curlew, a flock of 300 Sabine’s Gulls, Red-legged Kittiwake, Aleutian Tern, Marbled, Kittlitz’s, and Ancient Murrelets, Parakeet, Least, Crested and Rhinoceros Auklets, Horned and Tufted Puffins, Snowy Owl, Northern Hawk-Owl, American Three-toed and Black-backed Woodpeckers side-by-side, two distinct forms of Pacific Wren, Varied Thrush, Sooty Fox Sparrow, and the impeccable Smith’s Longspur.

2016 [06 June] - Kevin Zimmer

PDF Report

Spring came early to Alaska this year, following a winter with relatively little snow in most parts of the state. We felt the effects on the birds throughout the entire month of our Alaska tours, and although climate irregularities had negligible (if any) impact on the species tallied, there was no denying that the breeding cycles of birds and flowering cycles of plants were “off.”

2016 [06 June] - Kevin Zimmer - Barrow Extension

PDF Report

As usual, our Barrow Extension delivered the expected mix of high Arctic breeding waterfowl, shorebirds, jaegers, and owls, with a few surprises thrown in, that have made this outpost at the “top of the world” (more accurately, at the top of Alaska) a must-visit destination for birders.

2016 [06 June] - Paul Rogers & Ray Tipper

PDF Report

Alaska conjures up visions of snow-clad mountains surrounding deep fjords as well as miles and miles of treeless tundra and stimulates thoughts of the loneliness and hardship endured by men seeking a fortune in the “gold rush”. This tour brought all of this “to life”. A boat trip in the Kenai Fjords National Park produced spectacular scenery and wonderful sightings of Orcas, a breaching Humpback Whale, Sea Otters, a Black Bear and numerous species of sea birds including Horned and Tufted Puffins. Denali National Park was equally spectacular with the Mount McKinley dominating the area.

2017 [05 May] - Greg Smith

PDF Report

...The Council Road had a mixture of habitats, with the first 30 miles mostly along Safety Sound and its huge lagoon system. Birding for this part was all about checking out shorebirds and water birds. The tide was high, which meant that any shorebirds that weren’t nesting (and most all should be …) were pressed pretty tightly against the shoreline. We had Surbird, all three small peeps, Hudsonian Godwit, Pectoral Sandpiper, Black Turnstone, Pacific Golden Plover, Black Guillemot, and Parasitic Jaeger. Water birds included Common Eider, Tundra Swan, Bonaparte’s Gull, Sabine’s Gull, and later in the week on a short run, Aleutian Tern...

2017 [06 June] - Chris Benesh & Tom Johnson - Pribilofs & Denali

Report

Part One of the Field Guides Alaska tour got off to a great start with a visit to Saint Paul Island, part of the Pribilof Islands group. In addition to the wonderful suite of regulars, we had the additional treat of seeing several exciting Asian visitors to the island. These included a couple of sizable flocks of Hawfinches, an attending Brambling, and the first Spring record of Marsh Sandpiper in North America!

2017 [10 October] - Tom Johnson

Report

The call of the far north led us back to Alaska for this adventurous fall tour. For the first time, we combined our tried-and-true Barrow Ross's Gull tour with a fall migration trip to St. Paul Island in the Bering Sea.

Places to Stay

Click on WAND for tours, guides, lodges and more…

Clearwater Mountain Lodge

Accommodation

Centrally located on the most scenic route to Denali National Park (less than an hour and a half away.) The Denali Highway connects the Richardson and George Parks Highways, and offers a beautiful drive through the heart of the ‘real’ Alaska. Located 82 miles from the entrance to Denali National Park.

King Eider Inn

Accommodation

Opened in April of 1998, King Eider Inn is the premier of Barrow hotels located north of the Arctic Circle in Utqiaġvik; the most northern town in Alaska and all of North America.

Tangle River Inn

Accommodation

Jack and his wife Naidine built the Tangle River Inn 45 years ago, and have been constantly improving and expanding it since that time. Jack handles the mechanical end, and Naidine and her staff keep visitors coming back for more of their unique brand of Alaskan hospitality.

Festivals

Alaska Hummingbird Festival

Webpage

The petite but mighty Rufous Hummingbird is the mascot of the festival. Join us in welcoming this pennyweight flyer and other migratory birds back to Ketchikan, Alaska.

Alaska Bald Eagle Festival - Haines, AK

Webpage

Takshanuk Film Festival and Eagle Release Auction TBA

Alaska Bird Festivals

Webpage

Annotated & interactive list

Copper River Delta Shorebird Festival

Website

Witness the shimmering flocks of millions of shorebirds as they take a short break on the Copper River Delta while passing from their wintering areas across the globe to their breeding grounds in the north.

Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival

Website

On behalf of the Friends of Alaska National Wildlife Refuges, Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge, and the Festival Planning Committee, I’d like to welcome you to attend the 26th Annual Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival. Alaska’s largest wildlife viewing festival honors the return of spring and it’s breathtaking bird migration. Homer’s seaside setting is perfect for spotting over 130 migratory bird species, as well as numerous other resident species. Thursday, May 10th- Sunday, May 13th, 2018.

Stikine River Birding Festival

Webpage

Wrangell is the gateway community for the Stikine River Delta, where the arrival of thousands of bald eagles creates the largest springtime concentration in North America. The festival is the perfect opportunity for adventurous birdwatchers to observe millions of shorebirds, which migrate to the delta each spring. The Stikine River and its tributaries are located within the Stikine-LeConte Wilderness Area of the Tongass National Forest. Stikine River Birding Festival, April 26- 28, 2018

Tanana Valley Sandhill Crane Festival

Webpage

Yakutat Tern Festival

Website

Every Alaska community has a claim to fame regarding its natural resources. Yakutat is no exception. One of the largest and southernmost known breeding colonies of Aleutian Terns exists here. The earliest record of breeding Aleutian Terns in Yakutat – on the Situk River Flats – is 1922; the colonies in the Yakutat area appear to be a stronghold for a suspected declining worldwide population. The Aleutian Tern has a limited range throughout Alaska and eastern Siberia and Russia, and very little is known about this species, including its migration patterns. The Yakutat area is currently at the forefront of Aleutian Tern research, including studies on population trends, nesting ecology, and migration patterns. The 2018 festival will be May 31-June 3

Museums

Alaska University Museum Bird Collection

Website

With emphasis on the birds of northwesternmost North America, including taxa endemic to Beringia and the circumpolar North, the Bird Collection is the best in existence of avian material from Alaska. Almost all bird species and subspecies known in Alaska are represented and are preserved primarily as skins, skeletons, and tissues. The collection consists of over 14,000 birds. Most recent preparations include skin, skeleton, tissue, and stomach samples for each individual.

Blogs

Bird Treatment and Learning Center

BLOG

Last updated 2016

Judy Jessee - Judy's Mostly Alaskan Bird Blog

BLOG

Lynn Barber - Alaska Big Year & Beyond

BLOG

Michelle Michaud - Alaskabirder

BLOG

’ve decided to write a blog about my experiences birding in Alaska and around the world. I will also write about bird-related issues near and dear to my heart. I hope you enjoy the blog. Please feel free to comment, and to share this blog with other like-minded birders or even your non-birding friends.

Other Links

Alaska Landbird Resource Information System

Webpage

WELCOME to the Alaska Landbird Resource Information System, the official web site for Boreal Partners in Flight! Thanks for taking the time to learn more about the Boreal Partners in Flight program and our efforts to understand and conserve northern populations of landbirds.

Attu

Information

For many years, knowledge of bird migration in the Near Islands was only fragmentary, since they had been visited only sporadically by scientists. Then in the late 1970s, Dan Gibson of the University of Alaska Museum did the first intensive studies of spring and fall migration in the Near Islands, on Shemya Island. And beginning in the late 1970s, we began annual spring visits to Attu Island that have continued to this day. We now have a much more complete picture of bird distribution in the Aleutians.

Birding Locations in Nome

Webpage

Nome is becoming well-known as a treasure for birders. The city is bounded by tundra on three sides and the Bering Sea coast on the other. Once the ice begins to break up, migration begins. Virtually the entire area of the Seward Peninsula that is accessible by road from Nome is comprised of extremely valuable nesting areas for many bird species, including most North American waterfowl. You’ll even find quality birding on wetlands and beaches right in town.

Kodiak Bird Watching

Webpage

The sound of bird calls often fills the air in Kodiak. During sunny, summer months, song birds twitter and whistle. Winter brings exceptional eagle viewing to town and a constant chatter between the large, fierce-looking birds. Besides the 240 species of birds found on Kodiak Island, the other wonderful thing about birding here is the accessibility of prime viewing grounds. The immediate vicinity of Kodiak town offers many good birding opportunities

Louis Agassiz Fuertes and the Harriman Alaska Expedition

Website

This site highlights a journal that Louis Agassiz Fuertes kept during the Harriman Alaska Expedition. In the summer of 1899, railroad magnate Edward H. Harriman funded a scientific expedition along the Alaskan coast. The expedition, intended initially as a family vacation, gathered an illustrious group of scientists, writers and artists, and combined scientific research with leisure activities…

Photographers & Artists

Gallery - Yukon Gullery

Gallery

If you have not visited the Yukon Gullery recently then you will notice various changes. To better promote the study of gulls through images we have increased the size of the images - which will in turn increase your downloading time. There`s nothing worse than an over-compressed jpeg to ruin a good gull photo -- those delicate tertial patterns just disappear! As of March 1998, a total of 17 gull species have been documented in the Yukon.

Photographer - BJ Bergstrom

Gallery

Gallery