Migratory Bird Management
Alaska Region



To receive a copy of a publication or report listed here, please contact:
Migratory Bird Management, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
1011 E. Tudor Road, Anchorage, Alaska 99503
or call 907-786-3443

Projects and related reports

The Waterfowl Management Branch conducts many projects each year to keep track of waterfowl in Alaska. Many of our projects are listed below with links to related reports.  We use innovative aerial survey techniques and geographic information system analysis for many of our projects.  Some of our techniques are reported in papers published by The Wildlife Society (Locating waterfowl observations on aerial surveys, GIS for mapping waterfowl density and distribution from aerial surveys).

Aerial Survey Observer Manual (pdf - 11.8mb)

Geographic Groups

All over Alaska

Beaufort Sea/Chukchi Sea

Bering Sea

Cook Inlet

Copper River Delta/Chugach National Forest

Interior Alaska


Northern Alaska/Northern Canada

Northwest Alaska

Southeast Alaska/British Columbia

Southwestern Alaska/Alaska Peninsula/Kodiak Island

Yukon Flats

Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta



Bowman,T.D. 2014.  Aerial Observer's Guide to North American Waterfowl. Identifying and Counting Birds from the Air.  BLM/PMDS, OC-652. Denver, CO


BART, J., PLATTE, R. M., ANDRES, B., BROWN, S., JOHNSON, J. A. and LARNED, W. (2013), Importance of the National Petroleum Reserve–Alaska for Aquatic Birds. Conservation Biology. doi: 10.1111/cobi.12133

Meixell, B.W., M.S. Lindberg, P.B. Conn, C.P. Dau, J.E. Sarvis, and K.M. Sowl.  2013.  Age-specific Survival of Tundra Swans on the Lower Alaska Peninsula.  Condor 115(2):280-289.

Wilson H. M., J. S. Hall, P. L.Flint, J. C. Franson, C. R. Ely, J. A. Schmutz, M. D. Samuel. 2013. High seroprevalenceof antibodies to avian influenza viruses among wild waterfowl in Alaska: Implications forsurveillance. PLoS ONE 8(3): e58308. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0058308. (pdf)


Bart, J., S. Brown, B. A. Andres, R. Platte, and A. Manning. 2012. North Slope of Alaska. Pp. 37-96 in J. Bart and V. Johnston (editors). Arctic shorebirds in North America: a decade of monitoring. Studies in Avian Biology (no. 44), University of California Press, Berkeley, CA.

Milani, J.F., H. Wilson, M. Ziccardi, R. LeFebvre, and C. Scott. 2012. Hematology, Plasma Chemistry, and Bacteriology of Wild Tundra Swans (Cygnus columbianus) in Alaska. J. of Wildl. Dis., 48(1), pp. 212-215 (pdf)

Wilson, H.M., P. L. Flint, A.N. Powell, J.B. Grand, C. L. Moran. 2012. Population Ecology of Breeding Pacific Common Eider on the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta, Alaska. Wildlife Monographs 182:1-28. (pdf)


Lewis, T.L., P.L. Flint, D.V. Derksen, J.A. Schmutz, E.J. Taylor, and K.S. Bollinger. 2011. Using body mass dynamics to examine long-term habitat shifts of arctic-molting geese: evidence for ecological change. Polar Biology DOI 10.1007/s00300-011-1025-y


Hupp, J. W., Hodges, J. I., Conant, B. P., Meixell, B. W. And Groves, D. J. 2010. Winter Distribution, Movements, and Annual Survival of Radiomarked Vancouver Canada Geese in Southeast Alaska. The Journal of Wildlife Management, 74: 274–284. doi: 10.2193/2009-057


Schamber, J. L., P. L. Flint., J. B. Grand, H. M. Wilson, and J. A. Morse. 2009. Population dynamics of Long-tailed Ducks breeding on the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta, Alaska. Arctic 62 (2): 190-200.

Schmidt, J.H., M.S. Lindberg, D.S. Johnson, B. Conant, and J. King.  2009.  Evidence of Alaskan Trumpeter Swan Population Growth Using Bayesian Hierarchical Models.  Journal of Wildlife Management 73(5): 720-727.

Ward, D.H., C.P. Dau, T.L. Tibbitts, J.S. Sedinger, B.A. Anderson, and J.E. Hines. 2009.  Change in Abundance of Pacific Brant Wintering in Alaska:  Evidence of a Climate Warming Effect?  Arctic 62(3): 301-311.


Hodges, J.I., D.J. Groves, and B.P.Conant. 2008. Distribution and Abundance of Waterbirds Near Shore in Southeast Alaska, 1997–2002. Northwestern Naturalist: Vol. 89, No. 2 pp. 85–96 (pdf - 3.3mb)


Wilson, H. M. 2007. Population ecology of Pacific common eiders on the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta, Alaska. Dissertation, University of Alaska, Fairbanks: 204 pp.

Wilson, H. M., P. L. Flint, and A. N. Powell. 2007. Coupling contaminants with demography: Effects of lead and selenium in Pacific common eiders. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 26(7):1410-1417.

Wilson, H. M., P. L. Flint, T. L. Moran, and A. N. Powell. 2007. Survival of breeding Pacific common eiders on the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta, Alaska. Journal of Wildlife Management 71(2):403-410.

Sedinger, J. S., C. A. Nicolai, C.J. Lensink, C. Wentworth, and B. Conant. 2007. Black brant harvest, density dependence, and survival: A record of population dynamics. Journal of Wildlife Management 71:496–506.


Earnst, S.L.,R. Platte, and L. Bond. 2006. A landscape-scale model of yellow-billed loon (Gavia adamsii) habitat preferences in northern Alaska.
Hydrobiologia 567:227-236.


Earnst, S. L., R. A. Stehn, R. M. Platte, W. W. Larned, and E. J. Mallek. 2005. Population size and trend of yellow-billed loons in northern Alaska. Condor 107:289-304. (pdf)


Bowman, T.D. 2004. Field guide to bird nests and eggs of Alaska's coastal tundra. Alaska Sea Grant College Program, University of Alaska Fairbanks, AK. (To order go to:

Bowman, T.D., R.A. Stehn, and K.T. Scribner. 2004. Glacuous gull predation of goslings on the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta, Alaska. 2004. Condor 106:288-298.

Fischer, J.B. and W.W. Larned. 2004. Summer distribution of marine birds in the western Beaufort Sea. Arctic 57:143-159. (pdf)

Hollmen, T.E., J.C.Franson, P.L Flint, J.B.Grand, R.B. Lanctot, D.C. Docherty, and H.M. Wilson. 2004. An adenovirus linked to mortality and disease in long-tailed ducks (Clangula hyemalis) in Alaska. Avian Diseases 47:1434-1440.

Wilson, H.M., M.R.Petersen, and D. Troy. 2004. Concentrations of Heavy Metals and Trace Elements in King and Spectacled Eiders in Northern Alaska. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 23(2) 408–414.

Wilson, H. M., J. L. Oyen, and L. Sileo. 2004. Lead shot poisoning of a Pacific loon in Alaska. Journal of Wildlife Diseases 40:600-602.

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Esler, D., T.D. Bowman, K.A. Trust, B.E. Ballachey, T.A. Dean, S.C. Jewett, C. Stephen, and C.E. O'Claire. 2002. Harlequin duck population recovery following the Exxon Valdez oil spill: progress, process and constraints. Marine Ecology Progress Series 241:271-286.


Hodges, J. I. and W.D. Eldridge. Aerial surveys of eiders and other waterbirds on the eastern Arctic coast of Russia. 2001. Wildfowl 52:127-142. (pdf)

Schmutz, J.A., B.F. Manly, and C.P. Dau. 2001. Effects of gull predation and weather on survival of emperor goose goslings. Journal of Wildlife Management 65:248-257.


Dau, C.P., P.L. Flint, and M.R. Petersen. 2000. Distribution of recoveries of Steller's eiders banded on the lower Alaska Peninsula, Alaska. Journal of Field Ornithology 71:541-548.

Esler, D., T.D. Bowman, T.A. Dean, C.E. O'Clair, S.C. Jewett, and L.L. McDonald. 2000. Correlates of harlequin duck densities during winter in Prince William Sound, Alaska. Condor 102:920-926.

Esler D, T.D. Bowman, C.E. O’Clair C, T.A. Dean, and L.L. McDonald. 2000. Densities of Barrow's goldeneyes during winter in Prince William Sound, Alaska in relation to habitat, food and history of oil contamination. Waterbirds 23:423-429.

Flint, P.L., M.R. Petersen, C.P. Dau, J.E. Hines, and J.D. Nichols. 2000. Annual survival and site fidelity of Steller's eiders molting along the Alaska Peninsula. Journal of Wildlife Management 64: 261-268.

Fischer J.B. and C.R. Griffin. 2000. Feeding behavior and food habits of wintering harlequin ducks at Shemya Island, Alaska. Wilson Bulletin 112:318-325.

Petersen, M.R., J.B. Grand, and C.P. Dau. 2000. Spectacled eider (Somateria fischeri) In The Birds of North America, No. 547 (A. Poole and F. Gill, eds.). The Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, and The American Ornithologists’ Union, Washington, D.C.

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Conant, B., J.I. Hodges, D.J. Groves, and J.G. King. 1999. 1995 census of trumpeter swans on Alaskan nesting habitats. Proc. Pap. Trumpeter Swan Soc. Conf. No. 16: 75-97.

Groves, D.J., B. Conant, W.W. Larned, and D. Logan. 1999. Trumpeter swan surveys on the Chugach National Forest 1998-an update. North American Swans 28:16-21.

Petersen M.R., W.W. Larned, and D.C. Douglas. 1999. At-sea distribution of spectacled eiders: a 120-year-old mystery resolved. Auk: a journal of ornithology 116:1009-1020.


Groves, D.J., B. Conant, R.J. King, and D. Logan. 1998. Trumpeter swan surveys on the Chugach National Forest 1997. North American Swans 27:36-45.

Scribner, K.T. and T.D. Bowman. 1998. Microsatellites identify depredated waterfowl remains from glaucous gull stomachs. Molecular Ecology 7:1401-1405.

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Groves, D.J., B. Conant, and J.I. Hodges. 1997. A summary of Alaska trumpeter swan surveys 1996. North American Swans 26:45-49. 1997.

Groves, D.J., B. Conant, R.J. King, and D. Logan. 1997. Trumpeter swan surveys on the Chugach National Forest 1996. North American Swans 26:38-46.


Hodges, J.I., J.G. King, B. Conant, and H.A. Hanson. 1996. Aerial surveys of waterbirds in Alaska 1957-94: Population Trends and Observer Variability. National Biological Service Information and Technology Report 4.

Groves, D.J., B. Conant, R.J. King, and D. Logan. 1996. Trumpeter swan surveys on the Chugach National Forest-1995. Trumpeter Swan Society Newsletter 25:18-21.

Taylor, B.L., P.R. Wade, R.A. Stehn, and J.F. Cochrane. 1996. A Bayesian approach to classification criteria for Spectacled Eiders. Ecological Applications 6(4):1077-1089.


Butler, W. I., Jr., J. I. Hodges, R.A. Stehn. 1995. Locating waterfowl observations on aerial surveys. Wildlife Society Bulletin 23: 148-154.

Butler, W.I., Jr., R.A. Stehn, and G.R. Balogh. 1995. GIS for mapping waterfowl density and distribution from aerial surveys. Wildl. Soc. Bull. 23:140-147.

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Anthony, R.M. and R.A. Stehn. 1994. Navigating aerial transects with a laptop computer. Wildl. Soc. Bull. 22:125-129.

Bowman, T.D., S.P. Thompson, C.A. Janik, L.J. Dubuc, and S.P. Thompson. 1994. Nightlighting minimizes investigator disturbance in bird colonies. Colonial Waterbirds 17:78-82.

Ely, C.R., C.P. Dau, and C.A. Babcock. 1994. Decline in a population of spectacled eiders on the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta, Alaska. Northwestern Naturalist 75:81-87.

Goudie R.I., S. Brault, B. Conant, A.V. Kondratyev, M.R. Petersen, and K. Vermeer. 1994. The status of sea ducks in the North Pacific Rim: Toward their conservation and management. Trans. North Am. Wildl. Nat. Resources Conf. 59:27-49.

Groves, D.J., B. Conant, and J.I. Hodges. 1994. A summary of Alaska trumpeter swan surveys, 1992. Trumpeter Swan Society Newsletter 23:5-7.

Ward, D.H., R.A. Stehn and D.V. Derksen. 1994. Response of staging brant to disturbance at Izembek Lagoon, Alaska. Wildl. Soc. Bull. 22:220-228.


Hodges, John I. 1993. Count – a simulation for learning to estimate wildlife numbers. Wildlife Society Bulletin 21:96-97.

Stehn, R.A., C.P. Dau, B. Conant, and W. I. Butler, Jr. 1993. Decline of spectacled eiders nesting in western Alaska. Arctic 46:264-277.

Bowman, T.D., and P.W Brown. 1992. Site fidelity of male black ducks to a molting area in Labrador. Journal of Field Ornithology 63:32-34.

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Dau, C. P. 1992. The fall migration of Pacific flyway brent Branta bernicula in relation to climatic conditions. Wildfowl 43:80-95.


Conant B., J. I. Hodges, and J.G. King. 1991. Continuity and advancement of Trumpeter swan Cygnus buccinator and Tundra swan Cygnus columbianus population monitoring in Alaska. Wildfowl Supplement 1:125-136.


Bailey, T. N., M.F. Porter, E.E. Bangs, W.W. Larned, R.A. Richey, and R.L Delaney. 1990. Summer and migratory movements of trumpeter swans using the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska. Pgs 72-91 in D. Compton, ed., Proceedings and papers of the 11th Trumpeter Swan Society conference. The Trumpeter Swan Society, Maple Plain, Minnesota.


Bowman, T.D. and J.R. Longcore. 1989. Survival and movements of molting male black ducks in Labrador. Journal of Wildlife Management 53:1057-1061.

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Conant B., J.G. King, J.L. Trapp, and J.I. Hodges. 1988. Estimating populations of ducks wintering in Southeast Alaska. Pg. 541-551 in M.W. Weller, ed. Waterfowl in winter. University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Stewart R.E., Jr., G.L. Krapu, B. Conant, H.F. Percival, and D.H. Hall. 1988. Pgs. 613-617 in M.W. Weller, ed. Waterfowl in winter. University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis, Minnesota.


Dau, C.P. 1987. Birds in nearshore waters of the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta, Alaska. Murrelet 68: 12-23.


Conant, B, J.G. King, and H.A. Hansen. 1985. Sandhill cranes in Alaska. American Birds 39:855-858.

Dau, C.P. 1985. Bird resources of the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta, Alaska. XVIII International Ornithological Congress, 16-25 August 1982, Moscow, Vol.II, pp.1092-1093 (abstract).


Derksen, D.V., W.D. Eldridge, M.W. Weller. 1982. Habitat ecology of Pacific black brant and other geese moulting near Teshekpuk Lake, Alaska. Wildfowl 33:39-57.

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Dau, C. P. 1981. Population structure and productivity of Cygnus columbianus columbianus on the Yukon Delta, Alaska. Pgs. 161-169 in G. V. T. Matthews and M. Smart, editors, Proceedings second international swan symposium. International Waterfowl Research Bureau, Slimbridge (Glos.), U.K. 396 pp

Derksen, D.V., T.C. Rothe, and W.D. Eldridge. Use of wetland habitats by birds in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska. 1981. Resource Publication (United States. Fish and Wildlife Service) 141: 1-27.

King, J.G., and B. Conant. 1981. The 1980 census of trumpeter swans on Alaskan nesting habitats. American Birds 35:789-793.

King, J.G. and J.I. Hodges. 1981. A correlation between Cygnus columbianus columbianus territories and water bodies in western Alaska. Pgs. 26-33 in G. V. T. Matthews and M. Smart, eds. Proceedings second international swan symposium. International Waterfowl Research Bureau, Slimbridge (Glos.), U.K.

King, J.G., and C.P. Dau. 1981. Waterfowl and their habitats in the eastern Bering Sea. Pgs. 739-754 in D.W. Hood and J.A. Calder, editors, The eastern Bering Sea shelf: Oceanography and Resources. Vol. 2.. Office of Marine Pollution Assessment, NOAA. Distributed by Univ. Wash. Press, Seattle.


Derksen, D.V. and W.D. Eldridge. 1980. Drought displacement of pintails to the arctic coastal plain, Alaska. Journal of Wildlife Management 44:224-229.


Dau, C.P., and P.G. Mickelson. 1979. Relation of weather to spring migration and nesting of cackling geese on the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta, Alaska. Pg. 94-104 in R.L. Jarvis and J.C. Bartonek, eds., Management and biology of Pacific flyway geese.

King, J.G. and J.I. Hodges. 1979. A preliminary analysis of goose banding on Alaska’s arctic slope. Pgs. 176-188 in R.L Jarvis and J.C. Baronek eds, Management and biology of Pacific flyway geese.

Timm, D.E, and C.P. Dau. 1979. Productivity, mortality, distribution and population status of Pacific flyway white-fronted geese. Pgs 280-298 in R.L. Jarvis and J.C. Bartonek, eds., Management and biology of Pacific flyway geese. Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon.

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Dau, C. P. 1978. Observations on helminth parasites of the spectacled eider, Somateria fischeri (Brant), in Alaska. Canadian Journal of Zoology 56:1882-1885.


Dau, C. P., S.A. Kistchinski, and A.A. Kistchinski. 1977. Seasonal movements and distribution of the spectacled eider. Wildfowl 28:65-75.


Dau, C. P. 1976. Capturing and marking spectacled eiders in Alaska. Bird Banding 47:273.

Dau, C.P. 1976. Clutch sizes of the spectacled eider on the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta, Alaska. Wildfowl 27:111-113.

Milne, H. and C. P. Dau. 1976. A bibliography of eiders. FAUNE No. 20, Quebec Wildlife Service. 248p.


Dau, C.P. 1975. Occurrence and possible significance of an abnormal plumage in spectacled eider. Murrelet 56:17.

Last Updated: April 2019