Bird watching in Alaska

Jan 29th, 2006, 08:12 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 22
Bird watching in Alaska

While reading through the posts and trip reports, I noticed some of you making comments about bird watching in various parts of Alaska. I would be interested in knowing what spots are especially good and what types of birds to look out for. Is there a helpful guide to help identify the birds?

Our trip is scheduled for June 8--19. We'll be visiting Denali National Park, Seward, and Homer. As a matter of fact, when we're in Homer, we'll be staying on the Spit, which I understand is especially good for bird watching.

Thanks for any information you can share with me.
bjay is offline  
Jan 30th, 2006, 03:35 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 1,242
bjay, there is a birding program 'Wings Over Alaska'
Check it out on www.birding.alaska.gov
You will find there the Alaska Bird Checklist and place for bird watching anywhere in Alaska
Also www.wildlife.alaska.gov or call them for more info at # 907-465-4190

My favorite place is Homer with an exceptional birding, in my opinion. If you go to the website for birding in Homer you will get the best possible information with all spots in Homer including many places on the Spit
www.birdinghomeralaska.org

You can also call the Kachemak Bay Birding Hotline for recorded location details and dates of sightseeing. # 907- 235-PEEP
Pat2003 is offline  
Jan 30th, 2006, 11:44 AM
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 22
Pat2003,
Thank you for giving me the web addresses relating to Alaska birding. I've bookmarked these sites and plan to read the information before we go on our trip.

My husband bought me new binoculars for Christmas and I can hardly wait to try them out.
bjay is offline  
Jan 30th, 2006, 01:10 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 8,296
bjay, we were amazed that we saw so many birds in just about every area we visited last year in Alaska(and we were there during almost the same time period you'll be going.) Homer and Valdez were great for viewing eagles, but we saw the most eagles on the beach at Anchor Point. Plan a little sidetrip to Anchor Point if you are going to Homer--it's only a few minutes drive from Sterling Hwy. Also, one of the best things about the NW Kenai Fjords boat trip was the many kinds of birds we saw. The captain was a birder and helped us with our Life lists.

Those websites Pat gave you were a great help to us, and most people in tourist related fields in Alaska can point you in the right direction if you are interested in birding while visiting a particular area.

Enjoy your trip!
BayouGal is offline  
Jan 31st, 2006, 11:09 AM
  #5  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 22
Thank you for the suggestions, BayouGal. I'll be sure to add Anchor Point to our itinerary. And we will definitely be doing a Kenai Fjords tour when we're in Seward.
bjay is offline  
Feb 12th, 2006, 05:50 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 744
We spent 10 days in Alaska last August, in Anchorage, Denali & Seward. Potter Marsh just south of Anchorage was fantastic - we saw a large variety of waterfowl as well as some songbirds in the parking lot area. Eagle River Nature Center north of Alaska also had lots of duck varieties in their marsh area, and they had a good bird identification display to help out. In Denali, I was mostly looking at the large mammals but at one point, when we were off the bus and out hiking on our own, I spotted an artic tern sitting on her nest on the ground. It was fantastic just watching and I certainly wouldn't have seen it from the bus. The gray jay at the Wonder Lake picnic table was a riot, he kept trying to share our lunch!

In Seward, we saw lots of eagles, including a few at close range walking on the beach out at Lowell's Point. On the Cain's Head trail, we ran into a stellar jay - the first time I've seen one, just beautiful, so big and brash. Hopefully you can take the Kenai boat tour, and you will see an enormous amount of birds. On our trip, there was a group of very serious birders and they were very helpful with identification. Lastly, don't miss the Sealife Center - they have a truly fantastic bird exhibit that lets you see the puffins up close. I wouldn't miss it for anything!
birder is offline  
Feb 13th, 2006, 03:30 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 24,528
We managed to be at Potter Marsh and not see any birds at all. Is there a recommended time of day? We saw quite a few eagles on the Spit. Did an overnight to Seldovia so saw more birds on the way. The Kenai Fjords trip was great. The wildflowers are wonderful that time of year. We noticed perfume in the air and later decided it was from the cow parsley that was in bloom. There is a large stand of it around the overlook just before you get to Homer. You might want to buy the small book about the Eagle Woman of Homer who feeds them all winter. There's a large bookstore in Anchorage called the Title Wave that ought to have a good bird guide for the area.
dfrostnh is offline  
Feb 13th, 2006, 04:58 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 744
dfrostnh, when were you at Potter Marsh? I've heard that during migration, the marsh is simply full of birds. When we went in early August, it definitely was not full of birds -- lots of birds but it wasn't a migrating scene. Maybe it was the time of day? Early morning and late afternoon are always the best times to spot birds - during the heat of the day, they often are nowhere to be found.
birder is offline  
Feb 13th, 2006, 03:50 PM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 8,296
Great suggestions for books, dfrostnh. I am going to get those for our next trip. Thanks!
BayouGal is offline  
Feb 13th, 2006, 04:10 PM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 17,434
If you are devout birders than you should save your shekels for a trip out to the Pribilof Islands in the Bering Sea. In addition to being interesting people places, the islands' bird populations are remarkable.
Gardyloo is online now  
Feb 14th, 2006, 04:00 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 24,528
Birder: it was early August and probably middle of the day. We always seen to drive that stretch at low tide, too. I was so excited in anticipation of seeing my first bald eagle but my first eagle was really a crow or raven carrying a piece of bread. In Seldovia we watched and listened to 5 eagles perched in trees. I like birds but I really love the wildflowers. I have a lovely book by a local artist describing her life in Alaska, how she developed her style and where she goes to paint. Hope you find some great local bird books. If you google Eagle Lady of Homer you can read some of the story and see some great photos.
dfrostnh is offline  
Feb 17th, 2006, 10:57 AM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 478
Our most exciting bird was puffins which we saw while fishing at Icy Strait Point.
peggionthego is offline  
Feb 17th, 2006, 04:53 PM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 8,296
Peggi, we loved seeing those little birds, too. Aren't they pretty? We saw the most on the Northwestern Kenai Fjords boat tour out of Seward. Did you know that the only time they stay on land is to nest? (The captain of our tour boat told us about them--he's a birder, too.)

That must have been a great fishing trip! We haven't been to Icy Strait or Glacier Bay YET. I bet the scenery is beautiful. How was the fishing? Did you see any whales while in that area? Would love to hear more about it . . . .
BayouGal is offline  
Feb 18th, 2006, 05:54 AM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 478
We were on a Celebrity ship; not too many cruise lines stop at Icy Strait Point (the village is Hoonah) but we LOVED it...more "authentic" Alaska, I think. Our fishing boat captain was a First Nation Alaskan and he was wonderful. There were only five people on our boat. It was very successful fishing - we caught both silver salmon and halibut. We paid to have "our" fish shipped back home and enjoyed sharing it with our friends. It was just a fabulous excursion. Didn't see whales though. They're there, of course, we just didn't see them.
peggionthego is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2006, 11:25 PM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,962
You might consider contacting the local Audoban (sp?!) Society. The one here in Juneau does weekly walks at lunch. Whether they do them during the summer months, too, I don't know.
klondike is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
50states
United States
4
May 1st, 2013 07:04 AM
danafrasz
United States
5
Mar 15th, 2012 03:31 AM
cwjohnson
United States
9
Aug 24th, 2006 04:40 AM
elgordo
United States
9
Aug 30th, 2005 03:23 PM
from_nyc
United States
11
Mar 27th, 2004 03:05 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 04:16 PM.