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SELAWIK:Birding in a Blizzard?
Alaska Region, May 30, 2013
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Kotzebue residents watch sandhill cranes in the unusually wintry conditions of mid-May.
Kotzebue residents watch sandhill cranes in the unusually wintry conditions of mid-May. - Photo Credit: S. Georgette
Participants gather on the leeward side of a vehicle during a
Participants gather on the leeward side of a vehicle during a "picnic" break on a chilly birdwatching outing. - Photo Credit: S. Georgette

Who shows up to birdwatch on a 5°F May morning with 20 mph winds? In the small arctic town of Kotzebue, Alaska, 8 local residents did! Despite the unseasonably cold and stormy weather, Kotzebue residents cheerily participated in the annual birdwatching outings held May 17-19 by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and National Park Service. During the three outings (another was cancelled due to blizzard conditions!), participants saw only a few bird species, but definitely some interesting ones: northern wheatear, horned lark, snow bunting, sandhill crane, and common and hoary redpoll. A volunteer with Friends of Alaska Refuges traveled to Kotzebue to assist with the outings, and gave talks on bird songs and migrations after the field trips. A total of 32 local residents enjoyed the birding, the presentations, the camaraderie, and the en route “picnic” of homemade snacks, popcorn, and hot drinks. Definitely a success despite the weather!


Contact Info: Susan Georgette, 907-442-3799 ext 16, susan_georgette@fws.gov



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