Wildlife Viewing Near Sitka - St. Lazaria Island

St. Lazaria Island photo by Stuart Fety, USFWS

Where Southeast Alaska, 15 miles west of Sitka on the outer edge of Alaska’s famed Inside Passage.

How to Get There Sitka is accessible by air from Anchorage and Juneau and by cruise ship.

Rainforest Island - Unique in Refuge
The lush temperate rainforests that cover Southeast Alaska make St. Lazaria a unique part of the mainly treeless Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge. 

Highlights
More than 500,000 seabirds nest on this 65-acre island, one of the most productive seabird colonies in the state. Albatrosses and shearwaters that nest in the western Pacific also feed in nutrient-rich waters off St. Lazaria. Local charter boats and tours bring visitors to view the amazing sea bird colonies and wildlife.

Underground Nesting Birds
Burrow nesting storm-petrels are the most abundant of the eleven nesting seabird species. Rhinoceros auklets and ancient murrelets also burrow into loose soil to nest. (Do not go ashore at St. Lazaria as you will risk crushing the tunnels honeycombing the island, built by the seabirds for their nest and chick.) 

Cliff Cities
Pelagic cormorants and common and thick-billed murres nest on the island’s cliffs.