HawkWatch 2018 – March 7 – May 15, 2018

HawkWatch International

Count Hawks at Gunsight Mountain

at Mileposts 120 and 121 of the Glenn Highway 

This spring, a decades-long goal will happen for the third year in a row!  We have always wanted to do a complete and thorough Hawk Watch for an entire season at Gunsight Mountain. 

This year, thanks to Neil Paprocki, it will become a reality once again!
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Annual Event – March 23-24, 2018

The Big Anchorage Birding Day

Celebrate the First Day of Spring with

another Audubon Cutthroat Competition!!

Believe it or not, Spring is on the way, and what better way to celebrate than by scouring the Anchorage Municipality for birds.

From Eklutna to Portage–How many species can your team find in 24 hours from 5:00 PM on Friday March 23, 2017 until 5:00 PM on Saturday March 24, 2018.
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Membership Meeting – Thursday, April 19, 2018

Beginning Birding Class

The Perfect Opportunity to Learn

What This Crazy Addiction Is All About!

at the BP Energy Center – 7:00 PM

If you’re looking for the perfect way to learn what birding is all about, we will present a course in “Birding for Beginners” at Anchorage Audubon’s April 19 Meeting.

This is a fabulous opportunity to learn about Birds and Birding from the beginning, and it’s just in time for our Spring Migration arrivals.

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Annual Event – Hawk Watch Weekend – April 21 – 22, 2018

The Gunsight Mountain Hawk Watch Weekend

The Harlan’s Hawk Capitol

of the World!

at Milepost 118.8 of the Glenn Highway:  10:00 AM

Our Annual Hawk Watch Weekend in collaboration with the Mat-Su Birders will take place this year on April 21 & 22nd.   It’s the Greatest Event of the Birding Year in Alaska!

Our Hawk Watch is known as “The Harlan’s Hawk Capital of the World” because you’ll see more Harlan’s Hawks here than anywhere else on Earth.… Read the rest

The Best Alaskan Hawkwatch Article

The Best Alaskan Hawkwatch Article

the-best-alaskan-hawkwatch-article

The BEST Article Ever Written on Hawkwatching in Alaska!

A few years back, The American Birding Association’s magazine, Birding, ran an article about our own Gunsight Mountain Hawkwatch by Paul and Cecily Fritz.

The Fritzes led the hawkwatch effort at Gunsight Mountain for many years, and this article describes the site perfectly.  They explain why our hawkwatch is very different from most other hawkwatch sites in the country, which raptors can be seen, when they can be seen, and why the birds even fly in a strangely different direction.… Read the rest

Campbell Creek BLM Early Morning Birdwalks – May 17, 2018

Campbell Creek BLM Early Morning Birdwalks

Tired of just seeing magpies and ravens?  Welcome the Spring Songbirds!

Develop and fine-tune your birding skills and witness the progression of songbird migration through the Campbell Tract this spring. Join the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) staff and Anchorage Audubon Society members for a series of early morning outdoor bird walks May 17, 24, & 31.Read the rest

Kenai Peninsula Birding Festival – May 17 – 20, 2018

Kenai Peninsula Birding Festival

Where the river ends and the birding begins!

The Kenai Peninsula Birding Festival is growing every year.  This year’s weekend features their signature Kenai River Birding Float Trip,  a Kasilof River Float Trip, a 24 Hour Midnight Sun Big Sit, and plenty of walks & tours.  The Kenai River Viewing Platform is always a hotspot, and there’s no telling what will show up during the festival weekend.… Read the rest

Campbell Creek BLM Early Morning Birdwalks – May 24, 2018

Campbell Creek BLM Early Morning Birdwalks

Tired of just seeing magpies and ravens?  Welcome the Spring Songbirds!

Develop and fine-tune your birding skills and witness the progression of songbird migration through the Campbell Tract this spring. Join the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) staff and Anchorage Audubon Society members for a series of early morning outdoor bird walks May 24 & 31.Read the rest

Potluck Party and Pro-Am Bird Walk – May 24, 2018

Potluck Party and Pro-Am Birdwalk

Sloppy eaters…bring your game on!

Because Spring Birding is at it’s peak, Anchorage Audubon has decided to CANCEL our regular third-Thursday monthly program at the BP Energy Center and have a party instead. It’s a potluck, a chance to tell birding lies, and a chance to casually stroll around the Westchester Lagoon area with other birders looking for new arrivals. 

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Potter Marsh-A-Thon Birding Smackdown – May 26, 2018

The Potter Marsh-A-Thon Birding Smackdown

Not your Mother’s Birding Contest!

Once again it’s Anchorage’s greatest Birding Smackdown. How many bird species can your team find within Potter Marsh between 8:00 AM and Noon?  How much food can you bring to the Potluck Picnic immediately following the contest period at Noon?  Whose team has the best name?

 

Fabulous Prizes will be awarded for most species seen.

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Campbell Creek BLM Early Morning Birdwalks – May 31, 2018

Campbell Creek BLM Early Morning Birdwalks

Tired of just seeing magpies and ravens?  Welcome the Spring Songbirds!

Develop and fine-tune your birding skills and witness the progression of songbird migration through the Campbell Tract this spring. Join the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) staff and Anchorage Audubon Society members for a series of early morning outdoor bird walks May 31. Walks are from 6:30 AM – 8:30 AM.… Read the rest

Yakutat Tern Festival – May 31-June 3, 2018

Yakutat Tern Festival

To highlight the extraordinary natural and cultural resources of Yakutat by establishing a festival celebrating Aleutian terns.

Alaska’s newest Birding Festival is a treat for all.  This year’s festival features Keynote Speaker, author, photographer, and wilderness guide Lynn Schooler.  Featured artist is Kathy Hocker.  An optional Yakutat Bay charter boat field trip will be available as well as  special rates on Alaska Airlines.… Read the rest

HawkWatch Volunteers Needed – April 17 – May 15, 2017

HawkWatch International

Count Hawks at Gunsight Mountain

at Milepost 118.8 of the Glenn Highway 

The raptors are coming through Gunsight Mountain (there’s nifty movie here!) like gangbusters.  The Golden Eagle tally is over 600 and the Harlan’s Hawks streamed in with 61 on Monday.  Also on Monday, there were 3 Sharpies, 1 Rough-legged, 2 Goshawks, and an amazing Boreal Owl calling during the middle of the Day!  

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The Anchorage Big Day Wrap-up!

The Anchorage Big Day Wrap-up!

another Audubon Cutthroat Competition!!

 

It was a Cutthroat Birdwatching Competition at it’s finest that combined no sleep with in-your-face attitude and Margaritas! It was the First Day of Spring Anchorage Big Day.

TEN teams squared off to see who could find the most avian species in the 24 hours between 5:00 PM on Friday and 5:00 PM on Saturday.
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Annual Event – February 18, 2017

The Annual AAS Seward Winter Birding Field Trip

Work off all those Holiday Cookies!

Due to potentially unsafe driving conditions between Anchorage and Seward, the 2017 AAS Seward Winter Birding Field Trip scheduled for tomorrow has been canceled.  It was a difficult decision, but safety and everyone’s well being was uppermost in our minds.  We apologize for the inconvenience. 

Join Andrew Fisher and Anchorage Audubon for a free winter birding excursion to enjoy Seward’s
diversity of wintering birds and the possibility of a few rarities.
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Membership Meeting – Thursday, February 16, 2017

Lynn Barbers’ Record Breaking Alaska Big Year

 at the BP Energy Center – 7:00 PM

lynn-barber-alaska-big-yearLynn Barber holds the record for the tenth highest North American Big Year total ever.  When she found 723 birds in 2008, it was the highest Big Year total ever for a woman.  She set the Texas Big Year all-time record (522 species) in 2005, she found 350 species in one year in South Dakota, and this year she has already smashed all existing records for an Alaska Big Year by finding 299 species thus far (as of October 9, 2016, 307 species to round out the year)

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Membership Meeting – Thursday, January 19, 2017

Birding the Ebro Delta and Catalonia, Spain

 at the BP Energy Center – 7:00 PM

The Ebro Delta is the largest wetland in Catalonia (Spain), and one of the most important bird areas in the western Mediterranean Sea with over 300 species of overwintering and transient birds including the awesome and unique Hoopoe. Come and learn about this important bird area and others in Catalonia with Enric Fernandez, who lived in Spain for 22 years before moving to Alaska.

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Christmas Bird Count – 2016 Results

Hi Society!

2016 Christmas Bird Count Results

 

We finally have the results for the 2016 Anchorage Christmas Bird Count which was held on Saturday, December 17, 2016.

We’re sorry for the delay in reporting.  It took us awhile to undo the damage done to the Anchorage Audubon CBC database by Russian hackers.

Our Anchorage teams of Christmas Counters located 37 species of birds on count day with one additional “count week” species (a Short-eared Owl!) being reported bringing the total number of species seen during count week to 38 species .  The total number of individual birds spotted was 20,739.

This graph shows that the 2016 CBC was perhaps a little bit below our previous fifteen year average which appears to be “about” 40-42 species (give or take), but what we lacked in quantity, we MORE than made up for in the “quality” department….with two 1st ever Anchorage CBC records including a Song Sparrow (1st ever Anchorage CBC record), the American Kestrel (again 1st ever Anchorage CBC record), and a Pacific Wren (2nd ever Anchorage CBC record) following the 1st ever Anchorage CBC record in 2015.

Of the 38 species observed during count week, 7 species were represented by only ONE individual being sighted.  Bohemian Waxwings were once again the most numerous birds found with 7,857 seen (compared to the 54 year average of 3,851).  Common Redpolls made an impressive showing this year with 3,227 seen (compared to the 56 year average of 1,425), which landed them in second place for numbers sighted as well as Black-capped Chickadees with 2,085 seen (compared to a 57 year average of 893), which landed them in third place.

Data from the Anchorage Count follows below, and is sorted according to the number of each species seen.  The Tally Party and Chili Feed was a fabulous get-together, and we’d like to thank the First Congregational Church, Lynn Barber, and Louann Feldmann for making the evening possible.

Also worthy of our highest praise are Area Leaders Thede Tobish, Andrew Fisher, Daria Carle, Tom Evans, Dick Prentki, and Pat Pourchot;  Chief Coordinator Louann Feldmann;  and all of the many, many counters and feeder watchers who provided the data for this year’s count.

Anchorage continues to be a Rock Star of Christmas Bird Counts.  For the 2014 CBC, of the 2,408 count circles reporting, Anchorage had the 24th highest participation in the USA!!  This is not a per-capita number, it’s based on total participants.  We rock, and here’s what we saw for the 2016 CBC:

Bohemian Waxwing 7,857
Common Redpoll 3,227
Black-capped Chickadee 2,305
Mallard 1,302
European Starling 1,084
Rock Pigeon 841
Black-billed Magpie 753
Common Raven 697
White-winged Crossbill 638
Pine Grosbeak 600
Red-breasted Nuthatch 457
Boreal Chickadee 331
American Robin 193
Steller’s Jay 96
Downy Woodpecker 60
American Dipper 46
Golden-crowned Kinglet 45
Brown Creeper 31
Hairy Woodpecker 30
Bald Eagle 29
Dark-eyed Junco 27
Common Merganser 22
Pine Siskin 12
White-tailed Ptarmigan 10
Northern Shrike 9
Gray Jay 8
White-crowned Sparrow 8
Northern Goshawk 6
Great Horned Owl 5
Am. Three-toed Woodpecker 3
Common Goldeneye 1
Red-breasted Merganser 1
Sharp-shinned Hawk 1
American Kestrel 1
Spruce Grouse 1
Pacific Wren 1
Song Sparrow 1
Short-eared Owl (count week) 1

As seen during the Tally Party, graphs have been made of each species on a per year basis since the count began.  These graphs are available for viewing via the following link:

Graphs of Species by Year (click on this link)

The graphs total about 1 megabyte (1 MB), so they aren’t small, but nor are they large, representing about 1/700 of a typical movie available for streaming on the various movie streaming services on the web.  So you choose the fun – the number of species recorded during the last 50 or so years of the Anchorage CBC, or 10-1/2 seconds of the movie “Dumb and Dumber”.

We’ve actually spotted what looks to be a data error in the historical data based upon these graphs.  If you can spot it, please let us know, as we’ll definitely put YOU on the short list for our anti-Russian hacking team we are assembling!

Membership Meeting – Thursday, December 15, 2016

Birding with the Big 5: A Look into Remote

Kenyan Birding Adventures

 at the BP Energy Center – 7:00 PM

cape-buffalo

Come learn about some of the remote and adventurous birding locations in Kenya, East Africa, with Andrew Fisher, who spent 14 years there getting to know African wildlife. He will share some of his favorite birding locations, when to go, what species to look for, and share fun stories of getting stuck in the mud, camping with elephants, and where and when to not get out of your vehicle.

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Special Program: Gunsight Mountain Hawkwatch – Wednesday, March 8, 2017

 Neil Paprocki presents:

Special Program:  Gunsight Mountain Hawkwatch

 at the First Congregational Church, 2610 E. Northern Lights Blvd – 7:00 PM

We’ve got a real treat next Wednesday, March 8th, when Neil Paprocki will give a last minute program about the Gunsight Mountain Hawkwatch. Neil will be in town to get his team started on the Second Ever full-season monitoring of the raptor migration through the Gunsight Mountain area.

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