Audubon Alaska – Map Exhibit – August 4, 2017

Audubon Alaska

Map Exhibit:  Explore Alaska’s Arctic Waters

You’re invited!

Join Audubon Alaska to celebrate the release of their Ecological Atlas of the Bering, Chukchi, and Beaufort Seas, a comprehensive atlas featuring over 100 maps of Arctic marine mammals, seabirds, sea ice, subsistence, and more.

Come view a selection of their dynamic maps, learn about their conservation work in the Arctic, and find out how you can advocate for the protection of these ecologically vital places.

Read the rest

USFWS Breeding Bird Surveys – Volunteers Needed – June 1 – July 8, 2017

USFWS Breeding Bird Surveys

volunteers needed for eighteen (18) select Alaska Locations

The United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) is looking for volunteers with a passion for birding in Alaska to conduct breeding bird surveys in eighteen (18) select locations throughout Alaska.

Background Information:

The Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) began in 1966 as part of an effort to gain information on North American bird populations.

Read the rest

Volunteers Needed – September 10, 2016

Volunteers Needed for Short Work Party On Saturday

at the Business Park Wetlands – 10:00 AM

business-park-wetlands-1The Business Park Wetlands need some TLC, so we’re organizing a short Saturday Morning Work Party beginning at 10:00am. The Business Park Wetlands is behind the Outback restaurant off C Street just south of Tudor Road.  The Wetlands was established and protected by the Business Park Wetlands Coalition and Anchorage Audubon in the early 1990s, and the viewing platform needs a little work.

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What we will be doing is:  Replacing 4 boards on the benches, trimming a lot of overgrown foliage from the bench area, trimming foliage that now obscures the signs, and weed-whacking around the platform, deck, and pathway.
The whole project will only take between 1 and 2 hours.  We will need a few tools:  A cordless drill, a cordless skillsaw, a cordless weed-whacker, and a cordless leaf blower.  Please bring gloves and pruners if you have them.
If you can help, please call  244-KEYS in advance so we can make certain we have adequate people and equipment.  And there’s a rumor that there will be donuts.

Thanks a Bazillion, and we hope to see you there!

BP Energy Center

 

Bird Walk and eBird Tutorial – August 13, 2016

Bird Walk and eBird Tutorial

at Reflections Lake and the Palmer Library – 8:30 AM

red-necked-phalaropeAudubon Alaska and the Mat-Su Birder bird walk and eBird tutorial at Reflections Lake and the Palmer Library.

Keep track of birds you see, plan birding trips, and more!

Maybe you have hear of eBird but have never logged in, or maybe you are a regular eBird user and would like to meet others for this interactive tutorial.  Come to Reflections Lake off of the Glenn Highway for a short bird walk where we will collect a bird species list to enter into eBird.  We will then drive to the Palmer Library for a tutorial that will walk you though everyting from getting logged onto eBird and entering your first checklist to the finer points of how to use it as a birding tool.

Come prepated to take notes on the birds seen during the walk or with field notes from a recent birding adventure.  After this tutorial you should be well on your way in using and appreciating this great citizen science program from Cornell University!

When:  Saturday, August 13, 2016, 8:30 AM – 12:30 AM

Where:  Reflections Lake Parking Lot

red-necked-phalaropeWhat to bring: A notebook for recording the birds seen on the walk, a laptop or tablet if you have one, (if not we can share!).

Directions: If driving southbound on the Glenn Highway cross the Matanuska River and then take the Knik River Access off-ramp to the Reflections Lake parking area on your right.

If driving northbound on the Glenn Highway cross the Knik River then take the Knik River Access off-ramp, turn left and go through the tunnel under the Glenn Highway and continue straight until the road curves to the Reflections Lake Parking Lot.

Contact:  Cole Talbot at ctalbot@audubon.org or call 907-276-7034 with any questions.

 

 

Potter Marsh Bird Walks – Extended to August 16, 2016

Potter Marsh Bird Walks Extended!

 Potter Marsh; Tuesdays, 6:30 AM – 8:30 PM & Saturdays, 8:00 – 10:00 AM

2016-potter-marsh-bird-walks-extendedWe just heard from Audubon Alaska and the Alaska Dept. of Fish & Game, and the summer Bird Walks at Potter Marsh have been extended through August 16.

Join Audubon Alaska and the Alaska Department of Fish & Game for a guided leisurely walk on the Potter Marsh boardwalk and nearby trails to identify and learn about the areas’ bird life. This family-friendly event is for the beginning birder as well as those that know their way around a bird‘s wing. Binoculars are available for loan (no charge) and spotting scopes and guide books will also be available. Walks will take place rain-or-shine, so dress accordingly. Meet your guide at the boardwalk entrance kiosk at Potter Marsh. Kids encouraged, wheelchair accessible.

Contact: joe.meehan@alaska.gov for additional information.

Lynn Barber’s Big Alaska Year – July 15, 2016

The Alaska Big Year Record

 Holy Moly! What a Big Year!

lynn-barber-alaska-big-yearLynn Barber has totally rocked the Alaska Big Year with 287 species and Five Months to go!  As of yesterday, it looks like she has tied the previous record, although there’s some doubt as to what the previous record is.  With the help of Ed Clark, Thede Tobish, David Sonneborn, and Brad Benter, we’ve tried to piece together the Alaska Big Year history, and here’s what it looks like:

The record Big Year for a long time was assumed to be an effort by the late Tim Schantz who reached 275 in 2000.  In 2013, Scott Schuette reached 273 and Brad Benter hit  272.  Ed Clark then reported that he had been told that the late Pete Islieb once hit 287 in his Big Year.  Both Thede and Dave replied that they weren’t aware that Pete “kept track of his year list,” and Brad Benter says “the rumors I heard about Pete had him at 280 in a year.”  So the highest recorded Big Alaska Year has some doubt attached to it.  Unfortunately, there’s probably no way to verify that number at this point.

But during this fact-checking, Thede reported that HE had once logged a year with “281-ish” birds although he didn’t have his records immediately at hand.

SO……Lynn Barber reached 287 yesterday with the Rose-breasted Grosbeak in Ketchikan.  If the Pete Islieb story is true, Lynn has tied the all-time Big Year record.  If the Pete Islieb story is not accurate, Lynn has surpassed the Alaskan Big Year by as many as 6 birds, and once again there are still 5 months left.

In either case, huge congratulations are in order for Lynn Barber!  I personally want to thank her for providing vicarious excitement to my otherwise pathetic little life!

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Another factor in this saga is that Lynn is probably the first of the top Alaska Big Year participants who has actively,  purposely, and intentionally CHASED birds.  Tim, Brad, Scott, and Thede were all working and/or guiding while they did their Big Years.

Also, please bear in mind that there may be inaccuracies on my part.  I don’t think the possible inaccuracies in the numbers would change the final standings except possibly for Pete Islieb’s tally.  As far as I can tell,  it looks like the history is:

  1.      287              Pete Islieb (possibly)
  2.      287              Lynn Barber (definitely)
  3.      281-ish        Thede Tobish
  4.      275              Tim Schantz
  5.      273              Scott Schuette
  6.      272              Brad Benter
  7.      264              Dave Sonneborn

Each of these phenomenal birders has posted astounding Big Year numbers, and we salute them all!  If there are other records lurking out there, we’d love to hear about them.

The Hawk Watch Report from Yesterday – April 7, 2016 – April 8, 2016

The Hawk Watch Report from Yesterday

Gunsight Mountain

“The Harlan’s Hawk Capitol of The World”

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Thursday, we took a trip to the Gunsight Mountain Hawkwatch site.  Weather was low ceiling and very few birds were flying, but Fish & Game has been trapping and banding Golden Eagles and we scored when they released one of the birds right in front of us.

We can’t promise looks that good at the Hawkwatch Weekend Party next week, but you never know what you’re going to see at the Hawkwatch.

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Details for the Hawkwatch Weekend are on the Anchorage Audubon website at:
http://www.anchorageaudubon.org/content/view/20/35/

and on the Mat-Su Birders website at http://www.matsubirders.org/

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We’d love to see you there.

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Great Loon Cam News – July 6, 2016

Great Loon Cam News

 The Connors Lake Loon Cam is now streaming the live video!

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The Connors Lake Loon Cam is now streaming the live video!  The microphone has not been working, so there is no sound.  Sorry about that.  We will try to get it repaired before next year.  To see the video, go to:

 

Great Loon Cam News

The Pacific Loons are incubating a single egg.  A chick is expected around July 10.  Later that week a couple of biologists from USGS will attempt to capture the female to retrieve her geolocator, which will tell us where she goes for the winter.“

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Previously, Jean gave us a rundown on the progress of the Loon Cam so far this year:
After a couple of false starts, the Pacific Loons on Connors Lake have finally gotten serious.  I had previously reported an egg laid on June 12, which disappeared the next day, just like the first egg laid two weeks earlier. On June 14-15 the female laid another egg, and the pair started incubating it. They have been sitting on it almost continuously since then.  The egg was laid on the south side of the island, perhaps because of the thicker layer of bulrushes there(?), directly beneath the camera, so the view is an overhead one, and the bands on the female are not as easily seen. From the attached snapshots, the female can be differentiated from the male by the large single spot at the rear of her back pattern on each side.  Even with such a late hatch, there should be time for a chick to fledge in mid to late-September.

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Whiskered Auklet Trip – July 2, 2016

Whiskered Auklet Trip – July 2, 2016

A Last-Minute Seat has Opened Up
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A Last-Minute Seat has Opened Up
on the Whiskered Auklet trip out of Dutch Harbor on July 2, 2016.

This is in conjunction with the Anchorage Audubon Ferry Cruise to Dutch Harbor, so if you’re already on the Ferry, or if you’re going to be in Dutch Harbor, there is one seat available on the Auklet Charter.

Contact Lynn Barber if you’re interested at dalybar at aol dot com.

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Campbell Creek Estuary Birding This Friday – June 24, 2016

Campbell Creek Estuary Natural Area – “Little Sit”

Friday, June 24

160623-yellow-rumped-warblerThis Friday, June 24, Frank Clemens will be hosting a “Birding Topics & Tangents” little sit at the Beluga Overlook at Campbell Creek Estuary Natural Area from 6pm-9pm.
“We will, of course, bird and see who is resident in the area, but it will also be a time for discussion on all things birding and tangents such as optics, field guides, apps, and digiscoping.  Come join us for some birding and camaraderie.”

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It’s a great outing for beginners and experienced birders alike.  Come and go as you can, but, in light of recent events, always be aware of your surroundings and watch for moose.

Fall Potluck & Photo Sharing Party – September 15, 2016

Fall Potluck & Photo Sharing Party

Thursday, September 15, 2016

whimbrelJoin us Thursday, Sept. 15,  for Anchorage Audubon’s Annual End-Of-Summer Potluck Party and bring your favorite photos of your summer adventures.

Get together with your birding pals and share photos, tasty treats, and tall tales.  Bring a dish to share—Hot Or Cold but no plug-in heating devices are allowed in the room.  Plates, utensils & beverages will be provided as well as napkins for any sloppy eaters who attend.

Share your best photos with an ultimately appreciative audience.    Bring your own laptop if it makes your show better, or take a chance with ours.  Projector will be provided.

 

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tree-sparrow
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SEE INSTRUCTIONS BELOW CONCERNING YOUR PHOTOS.

 Presentations will be limited to 5 minutes on the first round.  When all presenters have had their turn, we’ll start at the top once again.  A $5 donation/fine to Audubon will be assessed for anyone who goes over the time limit.
We’ll re-cap summer Audubon outings and sightings.  Fabulous Prizes will be awarded.  Please note the early meeting time of 6:30 PM because it’s a pot luck dinner.

FOR PHOTOGRAPHERS:  This year, in order to minimize set-up time at the party, you MUST submit your photos IN ADVANCE by Sunday, Sept. 11.

Contact W. Keys at  flybynightclub@gci.net to arrange for an early photo transfer. 

Photos should be in jpeg format, and should be consecutively numbered in the title to make sure they load in the order you intend. Just put them on a thumb drive and contact W. Keys.


Thursday, November 17, 2016:  7:00 pm

BP Energy Center

Potter Marsh-A-Thon Birding Smackdown – June 11, 2016

The Potter Marsh-A-Thon Birding Smackdown

Saturday, June 11

160611-potter-marsh-a-thon-1Once 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. Teams may consist of 2-6 people.  The team must remain within voice or sight contact and must fit into one vehicle.  Species may only be counted if they are seen/heard by the entire team (Exceptions:  6-person teams may count birds seen by 5 members, and 5-person teams may count birds seen by 4 members.)
160611-potter-marsh-a-thon-1

Three years ago, the winning team included Sandy Komito from “The Big Year.”  You never know who will show up for a Birding Smackdown!

Check-In is at 7:30 am in the parking lot at the north end of the marsh.  Teams will be given a check list and a Potter Marsh map on which to log the location of each species seen.  At the end of the contest, species locations will be discussed to allow all participants to re-locate desired species.  Entry fee is $20.00 per team.  Exact Change is required. The Official Smackdown ends precisely at Noon.  Teams will be penalized one species per minute late.

Birds may be counted Only if seen from designated roads and trails in the Potter Marsh area.  No stopping or walking will be allowed on the West side of the New Seward Highway. Birds seen in non-designated areas may be counted if the observers are standing within a designated area.

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SPECIAL SAFETY RULES:  No stopping is allowed on the New Seward Highway except in designated turn-outs on the East side of the highway, and pulling into the designated turn-outs is only allowed for vehicles travelling NORTH.  Parking in a manner that blocks other teams from using a pull-out will result in a penalty of 15 species.
Everybody is welcome, so assemble your team, whip up a dish to share, and meet us Saturday Morning at 7:30 for a hilarious birding field trip with Fabulous Prizes!  Birding will be limited to the Potter Marsh area, and who knows what rarities will show up when there are birders combing every inch of an area that usually just gets the once-over.

Will Audubon Alaska get their clock cleaned by Anchorage Audubon?  Can members of the Mat-Su Birders hang with the guys from the big city?  If you don’t have a team, show up anyway and we’ll try to assemble teams on the spot.    It’s the anti-social event of the ornithological season.
If another team won’t tell you where they just saw a Pectoral Sandpiper, you are totally allowed to use “enhanced interrogation techniques.”  This is not your Mother’s Birding Contest.  We hope to see you June 11 at the Potter Marsh North Parking Lot.

For questions, email flybynightclub at gci dot net

Campbell Creek Science Center Early Morning Birdwalks – Thursdays May 19 & 26, 2016

Campbell Creek Science Center Early Morning Birdwalks

at the Campbell Creek Science Center – Thursdays, May 19 & May 26, 2016

There are TWO MORE Thursday morning birdwalks left this spring at the Campbell Creek Science Center.  Co-sponsored by the BLM and Anchorage Audubon,  it’s a chance to develop and fine-tune your birding skills as we seek out newly arrived migrants.  

 

Last Minute Reminder for the Potluck Party and Pro-Am Birdwalk – May 26, 2016 – May 25, 2016

Potluck Party and Pro-Am Birdwalk

Thursday evening, May 26, Anchorage Audubon presents one of our favorite yearly events. 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.

This replaces our usual monthly indoor meeting, and it’s a chance to get outdoors with your birding pals—-but wait–there’s more!

After we’ve devoured everything on the potluck tables, we’ll choose up sides.  Experienced birders will lead teams of less-experienced birders, and they will have 30 minutes only to scour Westchester Lagoon.  Prizes will be awarded to the teams that find the most species in only 30 minutes.  It’s a birding sprint, and everyone is invited!

 

Last Minute Reminder for Campbell Creek Science Center Early Morning Birdwalks – Thursdays May 19 & 26, 2016 – May 16, 2016

Campbell Creek Science Center Early Morning Birdwalks

Thursday – May 19,2016 and Thursday – May 26, 2016

There are TWO MORE Thursday morning birdwalks left this spring at the Campbell Creek Science Center.  Co-sponsored by the BLM and Anchorage Audubon,  it’s a chance to develop and fine-tune your birding skills as we seek out newly arrived migrants.  

 

Potluck Party and Pro-Am Bird Walk – May 26, 2016

Potluck Party and Pro-Am Birdwalk

May 26, 2016

Thursday evening, May 26, Anchorage Audubon presents one of our favorite yearly events. 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.

This replaces our usual monthly indoor meeting, and it’s a chance to get outdoors with your birding pals—-but wait–there’s more!

After we’ve devoured everything on the potluck tables, we’ll choose up sides.  Experienced birders will lead teams of less-experienced birders, and they will have 30 minutes only to scour Westchester Lagoon.  Prizes will be awarded to the teams that find the most species in only 30 minutes.  It’s a birding sprint, and everyone is invited!

 

Westchester Lagoon Potluck Party & Pro-Am Tour – July 07, 2012

2012 Westchester Lagoon Potluck Party & Pro-Am Tour

July 07, 2012

Saturday, July 07, Anchorage Audubon met for one of our favorite yearly events. The Westchester Lagoon Potluck Party and Pro-Am Tour, to tell birding lies and casually stroll around the Westchester Lagoon area with other birders looking for new arrivals.

After everything was devoured on the potluck tables, we choose up sides.  Experienced birders lead teams of less-experienced birders, each having 30 minutes only to scour Westchester Lagoon.  Prizes were awarded to the teams that found the most species in 30 minutes.  It was a birding sprint, and fun was had by all!

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Anchorage Area Rarity – Falcated Duck – May 3, 2019

Location: Potters Marsh – South Pullout (61.0559178, -149.7986537) – Anchorage, AK

First Seen: May 3, 2019

Last Seen:  May 4, 2019

Discovered by:  First observed, positively ID’ed, and reported by Bill T.  Later confirmed and further reported by Tasha D..  Seen by numerous other birders including Andrew F., Scott S., Eric Y., and Keith C.  Last seen by Enric F.… Read the rest

Anchorage Area Rarity – Eastern Kingbird – August 8, 2018

Location:  Campbell Creek Estuary Natural Area (61.131911, -149.964865) – Anchorage, AK

First Seen:  August 8, 2018

Last Seen:  August 16, 2018

Discovered by:  First observed, positively ID’ed, and reported by Hannah V..  Seen and later confirmed by Andrew F, W Keys. Enric F., Tim S., and Eric Y. Seen by numerous other birders including Louann F. and Keith C.  Last seen by Nick H.… Read the rest

Anchorage Area Rarity – Sharp-tailed Grouse – December 16, 2017

Location:  999-906 Stolt Lane (62.213094, -149.915536) – Anchorage, AK

First Seen:  December 16, 2017

Last Seen:  February 13, 2018

Discovered by:  First observed, positively ID’ed, and reported by Michael W (visiting Anchorage CBC birder)..  Seen and later confirmed by Andrew F, W Keys. Enric F., Tim S., and Eric Y. Seen by numerous other birders including Louann F. and Keith C.  … Read the rest