Alaska Bird Sighting Reports
- Akbirding Yahoo Group – Originates in Anchorage and includes reports posted by birders from all over Alaska.
- Eaglechat Yahoo Group: From Juneau, Alaska includes reports from birders in southeast Alaska.*
- Boreal Birder Yahoo Group: Originates in Fairbanks includes reports from birders throughout central Alaska.*
- Beringia Birders Yahoo Group: From Nome – reports from Western Alaska, the Bering Sea, and the Aleutian Islands. Click on “Database” for recent sightings.*
* Reports from these sites often appear on the “Yahoo/akbirding” website.
Alaska Bird Festivals
- Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival, Homer (May)
- Copper River Delta Shorebird Festival, Cordova (May)
- Ketchikan Hummingbird Art Festival, Ketchikan (April)
- Tanana Valley Sandhill Crane Festival, Fairbanks (August)
- Alaska Bald Eagle Festival, Haines (November)
Learning About Birds
- Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology – All About Birds: An excellent source for learning about birding binocular/scope technology and for unbiased comparative reviews of equipment.
- Optics for Birding: An excellent source for learning about birding binocular/scope technology and for unbiased comparative reviews of equipment.
Science and Citizen Science
- Alaska Science Center’s website on Beak Deformities in South Central Alaska: The latest updates on the USGS Alaska Science Center’s research project looking for the cause of beak deformities in Black-capped Chickadees and many other Alaska bird species. The site has numerous photographs of bird species with beak deformities and provides a reporting process for birders to report beak deformities they observe in birds at their feeders or in the wild.
- Great Backyard Bird Count: A midwinter, four-day, citizen science project that engages bird watchers of all ages in counting birds to create a real-time snapshot of where the birds are across the continent. Anyone can participate, from beginning bird watchers to experts. It takes as little as 15 minutes. It’s free, fun, and easy—and it helps the birds.
- Project FeederWatch: A citizen science project for the whole family. Project FeederWatch is a winter-long survey of birds that visit feeders at backyards, nature centers, community areas, and other locales in North America. FeederWatchers periodically count the highest numbers of each species they see at their feeders from early November through early April. FeederWatch helps scientists track broad scale movements of winter bird populations and long-term trends in bird distribution and abundance.
- eBird: Record birds you see, contribute data, dynamic maps and more.
Available in most Anchorage Bookstores
- Kaufman Field Guide to Birds of North America by Kenn Kaufman: The first field guide to use photographs in which plumage colors have been digitally corrected. Birds that are common and widely distributed (and more likely to be encountered) are depicted first. Similar
species follow. A good guide for new birders.
- National Geographic Field Guide to the Birds of North America 7th Edition, 2017: Edited by Jon L. Dunn & Jonathan Alderfer. The only field guide that shows all of the species seen in Alaska through 2016. Eastern and Western editions of the Field Guide are also available.
- National Geographic Field Guide to the Birds of Western North America Pub. 2008: Covers species found from the Pacific Ocean to the Rocky Mountains and adjacent portions of the Great Plains, just to the east.
- The Sibley Guide to Birds, 2nd Edition 2014 by David Allen Sibley, pub. by Knopf 2014.: Covers the entire U.S.
- Sibley Birds West by David Allen Sibley, pub. by Knopf, 2016, 2nd Edition: The most correct range maps for Alaska’s species.
- Guide to the Birds of Alaska by Robert H. Armstrong, pub. by Alaska Northwest Books, 6th Edition, 2015: Good information on the general distribution of Alaska’s bird species.
Better Birding Books
- Pete Dunne on Bird Watching by Pete Dunne, pub. by Houghton Mifflen Co., 2015, 2nd Edition: A good source for general birding information.
- Birding Essentials by Jonathan Alderfer & Jon L. Dunn, pub. by National Geographic 2007: All the tools, techniques, and tips you need to begin and become a better birder.
- Pete Dunne’s Essential Field Guide Companion – A Comprehensive Resource for Identifying North American Birds by Pete Dunne, pub. by Houghton Mifflen Co., 2006: Covers just about all of the information about birds species that’s missing from the field guides. Introduces readers to the “Cape May School of Birding,” an approach to identification that gives equal or more weight to a bird’s structure and shape and the observer’s overall impression than to specific field marks. This approach is often called GISS, a WW II term for identifying aircraft that means, “General Impression of Size and Shape.”
- Sibley’s Birding Basics by David Allen Sibley, pub. by Knopf, 2002: One of the best books for learning about birds. Identify Yourself – The 50 Most Common Bird Identification Challenges by Bill Thompson III & the editors of Bird Watcher’s Digest, pub. by Houghton Mifflen Co., 2005. : Gives beginning and intermediate bird watchers a helping hand with some of the most confounding identification challenges — birds that are commonly encountered but difficult to tell apart.
- The Birdwatcher’s Companion to North American Birdlife by Christopher W. Leahy, pub. by Princeton Univ. Press, 2004 in collaboration with the American Birding Association. : Both a practical handbook for amateurs and a handy reference for seasoned birders, provides accounts of the basic elements of birdlife, as well as a wealth of easy-to-access information on such subjects as bird physiology and anatomy, terms and jargon, name definitions and etymology, and ornithological groupings.
- Lives of North American Birds by Kenn Kaufman, pub. by Houghton Mifflen Co., 1996: A book that goes beyond the field guides — not a guide for naming the birds, but a reference for understanding them — a complete, handy, one-volume encyclopedia on the fascinating lives of our birds. The essential companion to your field guide.
- The Sibley Guide to Bird Life & Behavior Illustrated by David Allen Sibley, Edited by Chris Elphick, John B. Dunning, Jr., & David Allen Sibley. Pub. by Chanticleer Press, 2001 Conceived as a companion guide to The Sibley Guide to Birds. Outlines the principles of avian evolution, life cycle, body structure, flight dynamics, and more. 80 family-by-family chapters describe the range of behavior dictated by birds’ biology and environment.
- A Birder’s Guide to Alaska by George C. West, pub. by the American Birding Association, 2008, 2nd Ed. Complete information on just about all of the birding destinations in Alaska. Available at Amazon or at Buteo Books .
- Wings over Alaska: “Wings Over Alaska” is an Alaska Department of Fish and Game program that
encourages more people to enjoy Alaska’s birds and to take their birding skills to a higher level.
- Alaska WildBird Rehabilitation Center (in Houston)
- Bird Treatment and Learning Center (In Anchorage)
- Checklist of Alaska Birds: Compiled by the Alaska Checklist Committee (D.D.Gibson, L.H. DeCicco, R.E. Gill Jr., S.C. Heinl, A.J. Lang, Thede Tobish, Jr., and J.J.Withrow) © 2018 University of Alaska Museum, Fairbanks. The “official” checklist of Alaska’s birds updated annually in January. Available as an 14 page, 8.5” X 11” download
- Mat-Su Area Checklists
- BIRDS of SOUTH/CENTRAL MATANUSKA-SUSITNA BOROUGH, ALASKA
(prints on 8X14)
- Palmer Hay Flats Checklist (8.5×11) from Audubon Alaska
- Palmer Hay Flats Checklist (full size from Audubon Alaska
- Birds_of_Jim-Swan.: Compiled by the Knik River Watershed Group. Lists species that occur in the Jim-Swan Lakes area of the Knik River Public Use Area.
- BIRDS of SOUTH/CENTRAL MATANUSKA-SUSITNA BOROUGH, ALASKA
- Anchorage Audubon’s Checklists including:
- “Anchorage Checklist”
- “Anchorage Coastal Audubon Important Bird Area & State Wildlife Refuge”
- “Palmer Hay Flats Audubon Important Bird Area & State Game Refuge”
These bird checklists were produced by Audubon Alaska with the Alaska Department of Fish & Game and, for the Anchorage list, Anchorage Audubon.
- Many other lists from across the state
- Checklist of Birds of Kachemak Bay: Available from the Kachemak Bay Birders
- Birds of Juneau, Alaska Checklist: Available from the Juneau Audubon Society
- Birds of Skagway, Alaska Checklist: Compiled by the Skagway Bird Club
- Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge – U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service website includes:
- Birds of the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge
- Birds of the Adak Island, Aleutian Islands unit of the Alaska Maritime Refuge
- Birds of the Alaska Peninsula – Cape Douglas to Port Moller
- Kachemak Bay Birders (Homer, Alaska)
- Birds of Kodiak Island Archipelago
- Birds of Nome, Alaska
- Birds of Northwest Alaska(relates to Chamisso, Cape Thompson, Cape Lisburne)
- Birds of Seward (Alaska) area
- Birds of Unalaska Island
- Canada: Checklist of Yukon Birds available from the Yukon Bird Club A good list to have when driving the northern portion of the Alaska Highway