The Pribilof Islands are a misty, fog-bound breeding ground of seabirds and northern fur seals. Rising out of the surging waters of the Bering Sea, the Pribilofs consist of five islets, a tiny, green, treeless oasis with rippling belts of lush grass contrasting with volcanic rocks. In early summer seals come home from far Pacific waters to mate, and the larger islands, St. Paul and St. George, are overwhelmed with frenzied activity. The seals' barks and growls can roll out several miles to sea.
Although St. Paul and St. George are less than 50 miles apart, the island group itself is a 1,600-mile round-trip from Anchorage, over the massive snowy peaks of the Alaska Peninsula and north of the rocky islands of the Aleutian chain.
About the only visitors to the Pribilofs are commercial fishermen or the most dedicated wildlife watchers. Together, St. Paul and St. George islands are seasonal homes to hundreds of thousands of fur seals (about 80% of them on St. Paul) and nearly
250 species of birds. Some birds migrate here from as far away as Argentina, whereas others are year-round residents. Most spectacular of all is the islands' seabird population: each summer more than 2 million seabirds gather at traditional Pribilof nesting grounds; about 90% of them breed on St. George.