Birds

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Togiak National Wildlife Refuge conserves habitat for at least 201 staging, migrating, or breeding bird species. In addition, 15 other bird species have been recorded in the Dillingham area.


Birds Come From All Over

Birds flock to Togiak Refuge from all over the world to nest and raise their young, or to feed and rest during migration. Birds from North America, South America, Asia, Africa, Oceania the oceans near Antarctica, and have been seen on the Refuge. There are also birds that stay year round, such as the willow ptarmigan, bald eagle, northern hawk owl and common raven.

Over a Million Seabirds

More than a million seabirds that overwinter on the Pacific Ocean come ashore to breed on the Refuge’s coastal cliffs. Each summer , nesting murres, puffins, kittiwakes and others fill the air with a chorus of growls and cries.
Waterfowl include two Threatened Species
Nutrient-rich eelgrass beds in the Refuge’s bays and estuaries attract a variety of waterfowl. A majority of the world’s emperor geese and black brant stop here during migration. Two threatened species, Steller’s and spectacled eiders, are found here as well.

Songbirds and Sandhills

Golden-crowned sparrows, arctic warblers and other songbirds fill the air with music while sandhill cranes dance on the tundra.
Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network
At least 39 species of shorebirds are found on the Refuge. Eighteen species nest here, including dunlins, western sandpipers, dowitchers and greater yellowlegs, while the remainder utilize the area as a staging and stopover site during migration. Nushagak Bay, which encompasses 108,500 hectares of marine, intertidal, and estuarial habitat, has been recognized as a site of regional importance by the Western Hemishere Shorebird Reserve Network.
Visit our
Bird Species list to see the birds that have been found on the refuge. The scientific and commom names are both provided. 

Bird Species
Our Bird Species list shows birds are found on the refuge. Both scientific and commom names are provided.
Bird Checklist
Visit our Bird Checklist to see which species occur on the Refuge, including information about their seasonal abundance and breeding status. Birds are listed by common name.
Public Bird Counts
Togiak Refuge staff have coordinated a wide variety of public bird counts in the Dillingham area, including the Christmas Bird Count, Great Backyard Bird Count, and North American Migration Count. Additional information on local bird counts can be found on our Bird Count page.
Other References
There are numerous references that provide life history information on each of these bird species. Popular references include: The Audubon Society Encyclopedia of North American Birds, The Birders Handbook, The Birds of North America species accounts, or any of the many bird field guides. Also of interest is Guide to the Birds of Southwest Alaska, written by Joanne Nelson who lives next to the Togiak National Wildlife Refuge.