U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

Birds

Arctic Refuge Virtual Festival of Birds

Every year, thousands of birds fly to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for the summer to breed, brood, and rest. More than 200 species make this journey. For the first time ever, on September 24-28, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and partners take you deep into the nation’s largest refuge, one of the most important sites for birds anywhere on the planet, for a virtual bird festival to celebrate these intrepid travelers.

2018 Alaska Seabird Die-off

Beginning in May 2018, the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) began receiving reports of dead and dying seabirds from the northern Bering and southern Chukchi seas. This event continues and now includes the Pribilof Islands and the northern Gulf of Alaska. Coastal communities have counted hundreds of dead seabirds that include: murres, fulmars, shearwaters, kittiwakes, auklets, and puffins.

2018 Alaska Jr. Duck Stamp Contest

Congratulations to Audrey Schick, 17, of Thunder Mountain High School in Juneau, who took top honors in the 2018 Alaska Junior Duck Stamp Contest with a painting of a canvasback duck. A panel of five judges chose Audrey’s artwork out of the 196 entries from across the state to represent Alaska in the National Junior Duck Stamp Contest that will be held on April 20 in Bismarck, North Dakota.

Annual Federal Subsistence Migratory Bird Harvest Opens, April 2nd

The annual spring/summer federal subsistence migratory bird harvest regulations for 2018 will take effect on April 2.

These regulations allow for the continuation of customary and traditional subsistence uses of migratory birds in Alaska and prescribe regional information on when and where the harvesting of birds may occur. These regulations were developed under a co- management process involving the Service, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, and Alaska Native representatives.

Snowbird no more?

Mild temperatures and good eats keep Pacific brant at Izembek Lagoon in the winter. Most brant have historically flown south to the Pacific coast and Baja for the winter, but eelgrass beds to graze on attract them to the lagoon on Izembek National Wildlife Refuge. Winter surveys by our biologists/pilots have been done annually since 1980, when the number of Pacific brant overwintering at Izembek began to increase. Since that time, the number of Pacific brant staying the winter in Izembek Lagoon and surrounding areas has steadily increased.