Alaska has more than 174 million acres of wetlands providing breeding habitat for 36  waterfowl species (geese, ducks, swans), including several species and subspecies found nowhere else in the United States or North America. Waterfowl that breed in Alaska migrate south through all four Northern American Flyways (Pacific, Central, Mississippi, and Atlantic), with approximately 50% staying west of the Rocky Mountains.


More than one and half a million individuals of 6 species and 9 subspecies nest in the state annually. More than 60% of the world's breeding population of Pacific black brant and 90% of the world's emperor geese nest in Alaska.  Alaska supports 100% of the world's tule and Pacific white-fronted geese, Aleutian cackling geese, Pacific cackling geese and dusky Canada geese.  You can learn more about arctic geese and banding efforts from Baffin Island to Alaska by visiting the Arctic Goose Joint Venture website!

Dabbling ducks

One third of North America's northern pintails nest in Alaska.

Sea Ducks

Alaska supports 100% of the U.S. breeding populations of several northerly species of sea ducks including spectacled eiders, king eiders, steller's eiders, long-tailed ducks, and black, white-winged, and surf scoters. Learn more about sea ducks by visiting the Sea Duck Joint Venture website!


More than 150,000 tundra swans and 20,000 trumpeter swans nest in Alaska each year.

Nesting Habitats

Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta

This expansive wetland complex supports one of the largest aggregations of water birds in the world. Roughly one million ducks and one million geese breed here annually.

Arctic Coastal Plain

Located between the Brooks Range and the Beaufort Sea, this extensive wetland supports one mission breeding ducks, geese and swans each summer.

Bristol Bay Lowlands

10% of statewide duck production occurs in these expansive lowlands adjacent to this world-famous commercial salmon fishing bay.

Yukon Flats

10% of statewide duck production takes place in the lake complex within the floodplain of the Yukon River near Alaska's eastern border with Canada.

Tanana/Kuskokwim Valley

about 10% of Alaska's ducks are produced in these rolling black-spruce-carpeted hills outlined by white spruce and pond-filled valleys