Field Trips and Events Calendar PDF Print E-mail

   Brownlee-KodiakGroupHikeTerminationPt.jpgAnchorage Audubon field trips and events are open to the public unless stated otherwise in the field trip announcement! We welcome all ages and levels of birders and non-birders on our trips. Contact trip leader for more information about each field trip, or contact Field Trip Coordinator Aaron Bowman, 563-0151. We strongly encourage carpooling on all our field trips if possible.

Anchorage Audubon is very grateful to the wonderful field trip leaders who volunteer their time and share their extensive knowledge of birds and natural history. We could not offer these excellent field trips without you! Thank you to Chris Maack, Delesta Fox, John Wenger, Dianne Toebe, Mr. Whitekeys, Aaron Bowman, Sirena Brownlee, Kenna Sue Trickey, Bob Dittrick, Paul Fritz, and Joanna Hubbard.

The calendar includes Audubon sponsored field trips, monthly membership meetings, and other events and trips that may be of interest to the members of the Chapter.




    Palmer Hay Flats Birdwalk by Mat-Su Birders

Date and Time: Saturday, May 3, 9:00 am

Location: Palmer Hay Flats
Please note that the Palmer Hay Flats Bird Walk, originally scheduled for Saturday, April 26, 2014, has been cancelled and rescheduled for Saturday, May 3, 2014, starting at 9:00 AM at the Palmer Hay Flats Cottonwood Creek access off of Hayfield Road.  Full information is on the Mat-Su Birders website at
Eklutna Tailrace and Reflection Lake Birdwalk by Mat-Su Birders

Date and Time: Sunday, May 4, 8:00 am
Location: Eklutna Tailrace and Reflection Lake
Full information is on the Mat-Su Birders website at

Campbell Creek Early Morning Birdwalks

Date and Time: May 8, 15, 22, 29, 6:30-8:30AM

Location: Meet at the Campbell Creek Science Center parking lot.

Develop and fine-tune your birding skills and witness the progression of songbird migration through the Campbell Tract this spring. Join BLM staff and Anchorage Audubon Society members for a series of early morning outdoor bird walks May 8, 15, 22 and 29. Walks are from 6:30am-8:30am. Please meet in the Campbell Creek Science Center parking lot. Dress appropriately for the weather and for walking on uneven terrain. Hot cocoa and coffee will be available at the Science Center afterwards, courtesy of Friends of the Campbell Creek Science Center.
Please call 267-1241 for more information.


Monthly Meeting Potluck and Bird Walk

Date and Time: Thursday, May 22,  6:00 pm

Location: Westchester Lagoon Boat Launch Parking Lot

    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.  PLEASE NOTE that we've pushed the date back one week because the weather is totally guaranteed to be warmer.
    Bring a dish to share, tales to tell, binoculars, and gear appropriate for the day’s weather.  We’ll bring plates, utensils, and Audubon Society approved napkins for sloppy eaters. 



The 24th Annual Copper River Delta Shorebird Festival.  May 8--11

Highlighting a vast number of migratory shorebirds stopping over on the Copper River Delta, this is truely a great festival in the fabulous  town of Cordova.  This is where you go for Avian Tonnage!  Keynote Speaker is Renown Swedish painter and Naturalist Lars Johnson.  Guest Speaker is Susan Bonfield, executive director of Environment for the Americas.  For more information go to and click on the shorebird festival tab on the left hand column. This year, Major Marine Tours will feature a special birding boat trip from Whittier to Cordova. 
Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival.  May 8--11

Alaska's largest birding festival features a huge array of field trips, seminars, and speakers.  2014 festival highlights include Keynote Speaker Bill Thompson III (editor of Bird Watcher's Digest) and Featured Author Noah Strycker (Associate Editor of Birding Magazine.    You can't miss with a huge variety of migratory shorebirds and oodles of programs to attend.  Located in the bustling town of Homer, this will certainly be a birding highlight of the year.  For more information go to

Kenai Birding Festival.  May 15--18
The Kenai Birding Festival is growing every year.  This year's weekend features their signature Kenai River Birding Float Trip,  a 24 Hour Midnight Sun Big Sit,  and plenty of walks & tours.  For complete information, visit       The Kenai River Viewing Platform has been a hotspot this year, and there's no telling what will show up during the festival weekend.                         

The 4th Annual Yakutat Tern Festival.  June 5--8
Alaska's newest Birding Festival is a treat for all.  This year's festival features Keynote Speaker Heather Renner, and will also feature special rates on Alaska Airlines.  For more information go to




The Potter Marsh-A-Thon Birding Smackdown
Date and Time: Saturday, May 31.   7:30 am
Location:  Potter Marsh North Parking Lot.

    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. 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.) 
    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 plotted on a gigantic master map 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.

    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 May 31 at the Potter Marsh North Parking Lot.   


APRIL & MAY On The High Seas:

The Birding Cruise of The Century

 PLEASE NOTE:  The Birding Cruise is currently full.  If space becomes available, we will contact those who have already responded in order of their response.  We hope to offer similar cruises in the future, so please stay tuned.

Date and Time: April 28.
Location:  San Diego to Victoria, 

    If you're looking for a spectacular birding trip that's easy, cheap, and has the possibility of finding incredible birds, Anchorage Audubon has the chance of a lifetime.

    Every year the cruise ship companies have what they call "repositioning cruises."  They take ships from a winter market like Mexico to the summer markets like Alaska.  Since they are short cruises without land stopovers, they are very inexpensive.  They just want people aboard to pay the cost of the repositioning.  One of these routes is San Diego to Victoria and Vancouver in the late spring.  It's about a 4-night cruise with no landfall except those cities.

    Several great birders have discovered that this is a perfect platform for offshore pelagic birding.  Because of their size and modern computer-controlled stabilizing systems, the boats are stable enough in most weather to allow for scopes which greatly improve the opportunity for seeing rarities.

    David Sonneborn has taken the trip several times in the last few years, and has volunteered to lead our trip.  He hopes that participants will make a donation, take pledges, etc., for Anchorage Audubon.  He is payng his own way and will make a $100 donation per life bird he sees (He's pretty safe since he has already "cleaned up" on his prior trips.)   The date has NOT been firmly decided, but we are looking at sailings from San Diego on April 28 or 29 of 2014 on either the Holland America Zaandam or the Westerdam.
    The ships are full service cruise ships with all the amenities:  tons of dining, gyms, pools, zumba classes, Yoga, and massages while you're not on deck birding.  Full information about the ships including prices can be found at  
    The way it will work is simple:  Once the date has been solidified, you make your own reservation on the ship through Holland America,  you make your own plane reservations to San Diego and back from Vancouver or Seattle, you consider a donation or pledge to Anchorage Audubon, and we meet on board.  We'll also probably be involved in land birding advice for San Diego and Victoria/Vancouver.

    Species seen can vary from voyage to voyage.  Here's is an online report from Master Birder Paul Lehman who took a similarly timed cruise last Spring:
    In California waters, they saw 5 Laysan Albatross (4 in SLO and 1 in MTY) and 35 Parakeet Auklets (all in Humboldt).  The waters off California were calm, probably too  calm for pteradromas.
    In Oregon waters, there were 1-2 Murphy's Petrels, an early South Polar Skua, and more Parakeet Auklets.
    In a 20 mile stretch of Washington waters, there were 1200 Leach's Storm-Petrels.
    In two-and-a-half days (Wednesday, Thursday, and partial Friday), large numbers of pelagic birds were seen!  Estimates include 800 Black-footed Albatross, 2000 Pink-footed Shearwater, 30,000 Sooty Shearwater, and 800 Sabine's Gull.
    Rumor has it that a group of Oregon birders trailing this cruise a day later got a "slug of Murphy's (50), Hawaiian (10) and several Cook's Petrels" !  They also had more wind and higher seas.

    The final date will be announced very soon, but what we'd like is an estimate of how many people might be interested.  If you are interested, please email Our Esteemed Coordinator   and tell us if you are:
        Moderately Interested
        Very Interested
        Ready to Sign on Now!

    More details will follow, but we'd appreciate knowing about your interest.  If there is huge interest, we'll probably have to enlist another guide/leader.
      As updated details are released, they will be here on the Anchorage Audubon website.
    Thanks, and we hope to see you on board. 


  Coastal Trail and Potter Marsh Summer Bird Walks

What’s so special about Anchorage’s coast for birds? To find out, join Audubon Alaska’s Aaron Bowman for bird walks along the Coastal Trail and at Potter Marsh, two locations which are in the Anchorage Coastal Important Bird Area (IBA). Walks will focus on the species that make these locations unique and important. Both walks will be held at a leisurely pace on easily accessible paths. Everyone is welcome and binoculars will be available to borrow.

These walks are sponsored by Anchorage Audubon, Audubon Alaska and Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

For more information contact Aaron Bowman at 907-276-7034 or This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it or visit

Coastal Trail Walks

Wednesdays, 6:30-8:30PM

June 4 and 18; July 9, 16, 23 and

30; August 6, 13, 20 and 27

Meet at the Westchester Lagoon parking area near the boat launch

at 1824 W. 15th Ave.

Potter Marsh Walks

Saturdays, 9:00-11:00AM

June 21, July 5, 12, 19 and 26

Meet at the Potter Marsh

boardwalk parking lot in front of

the kiosk.



August 2014: 


Below is an event our friends at Audubon Alaska are planning and it's coming up soon! 


Anchorage Coastal Trail

Bike and Bird Day

Sunday, August 3, 1:00 pm—5:00 pm

Come ride your bike along the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail and learn about the birds of this Important Bird Area right here in Anchorage. Whether you want to learn how to tell a godwit from a grebe and other bird basics or are ready to exercise your birding skills, grab your bike and join us!


Bird TLC will show a live bird of prey at the start (1:00-1:30pm) and

finish (4:30-5:00pm) locations!


Where: Start at Westchester Lagoon boat ramp and bike a portion of the Coastal Trail with bird experts at stations along the way.

What to bring: Your bike and yourself. Binoculars would be handy if you have them, but not necessary.

For More Information: Contact Aaron Bowman of Audubon Alaska

at 276-7034 or This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it .