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The Semipalmated Sandpiper is likely the most abundant breeding shorebird on the ArcticCoastal Plain of Alaska, with the highest densities occurring in the western portion of the coastalplain (Johnson et al. 2007). In Arctic Alaska, this species nests in a range of upland dry to moistand wet tundra habitats near water and typically focus their foraging along marsh and pond edges(Gratto-Trevor 1992). The current North American population estimate is 2 million (Morrison etal. 2006). While the Alaska breeding population appears to be stable, there is evidence thateastern Semipalmated Sandpiper populations are declining (Andres et al. 2012).
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The Ruddy Turnstone, named after its habit of turning over stones and other objects in search ofprey, occurs throughout the circumpolar arctic. In Alaska, this species typically nests in barrenhalophytic, sparsely vegetated sites (Bart et al. 2012, Nettleship 2000), usually near the coast oralong rivers, and rarely inland (Johnson et al. 2007). During the breeding season, RuddyTurnstones feed primarily on dipteran insects obtained in dry to wet habitats near ponds andstreams and often along pond margins (Nettleship 2000). This species winters along both coastsof North America in the west from northern California down into South America (Nettleship2000). Current population estimate for Alaska is 20,000 (Morrison...
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The Common Raven is wide-ranging throughout much of North America utilizing a variety ofhabitats from deserts in the southwestern U.S. to tundra habitats in Arctic Alaska (Boarman andHeinrich 2000). Historically, this species did not nest in the northern portion of the ArcticCoastal Plain of Alaska but with the growing human presence in the region, particularly from oildevelopment activities, they have been able to utilize human structures for nesting (Johnson andHerter 1989, Day 1998). Ravens are a generalist species and take advantage of a wide variety ofprey and are a noted nest predator. Although some individuals may move south in the winter,many remain on the coastal plain (Johnson and Herter 1989). The global...
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The Stilt Sandpiper is an uncommon to common breeding shorebird on the Arctic Coastal Plainof Alaska that typically nests near the coast from the Canadian border to the Barrow area(Johnson et al. 2007, Klima and Jehl 2012). Highest known breeding densities occur in ArcticCanada where they often nest in taiga and boreal habitats
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The Dunlin (arcticola subspecies) is a common breeding bird in Arctic Alaska from the areasurrounding Barrow to the east. The pacifica subspecies also occurs within the Arctic LCCassessment area in the region around Cape Lisburne and Cape Krusenstern. Dunlin use a widevariety of breeding habitats found in the northern sub-arctic and arctic. On the Arctic CoastalPlain of Alaska, C. a. arcticola breed in moist-wet tundra, often in areas with ponds, polygons,and strangmoor landforms (Warnock and Gill 1996). The arcticola subspecies winters in Asiawhile pacifica winters along the west coast of North America. Current population estimate is 1.3million (arcticola: 750,000, pacifica: 500,000; Morrison et al. 2006) with...
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The Whimbrel is one of the larger breeding shorebirds in Arctic Alaska, occurring in both taigaand tundra habitats. In Arctic Alaska, this species nests in a variety of tundra habitats rangingfrom lowland wet polygonal to well-drained moist upland tundra, sometimes with significantshrub cover
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The Red Knot, roselaari subspecies, is a relatively uncommon breeding shorebird in ArcticAlaska. They typically nest in coastal alpine habitats, preferring sparsely vegetated and broadalpine ridgelines and dome tops (Harrington 2001, J. Johnson, pers. comm.). There is littleinformation on breeding season diet in this species however; field observations suggest a varieddiet from insects to plant materials (e.g., lichens, leaves, berries) (Harrington 2001). During May,knots occur in coastal lagoons adjacent to suitable nesting habitats. These lagoons apparentlyserve as foraging and resting sites preceding dispersal to nesting areas (J. Johnson, pers. comm.).This subspecies winters at sites along the Pacific Coast...
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The Pacific Loon is the most common breeding loon in Arctic Alaska, nesting throughout muchof the state (Russell 2002). This species typically breeds on lakes that are ≥1 ha in size in bothboreal and tundra habitats. They are primarily piscivorous although they are known to commonlyfeed chicks invertebrates (D. Rizzolo and J. Schmutz, unpublished data). Many Pacific Loonsspend their winters in offshore waters of the west coast of Canada and the U.S. (Russell 2002).The most recent Alaska population estimate is 100-125,000 individuals (Ruggles and Tankersley1992) with ~ 69,500 on the Arctic Coastal Plain specifically (Groves et al. 1996).
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The Yellow-billed loon, the largest of the world’s five loon species, and also the rarest, has oneof the highest nesting densities in the world on the central Arctic Coastal Plain of Alaska (Earnstet al. 2005). In Alaska, this species typically breeds on the edges of relatively deep (>2 m), large(usu. >12 ha) fish-bearing lakes (http://alaska.fws.gov/). Little is known about their diet inAlaska, but they are believed to depend on several fish species, with cisco (Coregonus spp.)being the most important (J. Schmutz, pers. comm.). Although previously thought to winter offthe coast of the Pacific Northwest, new evidence suggests the North American breedingpopulation winters in East Asia from the western Kuril Islands...
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The Steller’s Eider, is the smallest of the four eiders and in many ways resembles dabbling ducksmore than sea ducks. This species was listed as “threatened” in 1997 under the EndangeredSpecies Act as it has virtually disappeared from historic breeding areas in the YukonKuskokwimDelta, once the most populated breeding ground in Alaska. In Arctic Alaska,Steller’s Eiders nest in polygonal tundra near the coast or up to 30km inland on sites with acomplex of interconnected ponds (Fredrickson 2001). During the breeding season, their dietconsists primarily of aquatic insects including chironomid and tipulid larvae (Fredrickson 2001).Alaskan breeders spend their winters along the Alaskan panhandle and the eastern AleutianIslands...
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The Bar-tailed Godwit completes one of the most incredible journeys of any bird species,traveling non-stop across the Pacific Ocean from Alaska to Australia and New Zealand during itsfall migration. In Arctic Alaska, this species is found most commonly west of the Colville Riverand is particularly frequent in the Brooks Range foothills (Johnson et al. 2007). On the NorthSlope, Bar-tailed Godwits nest in moist tussock tundra near wetlands to wet sedge meadows(McCaffery and Gill 2001). They typically forage in shallow, flooded areas on insects but willeat berries upon arrival to breeding grounds (McCaffery and Gill 2001). Current populationestimate for North American breeders (baueri subspecies) is 90,000 with a declining...
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The Black-bellied Plover breeds regularly in Arctic Alaska with the highest numbersconcentrated in the central portion of the Arctic Coastal Plain (Johnson et al. 2007). Ingeneral, this species tends to choose dry habitats for nesting such as dry heath tundra, exposedridges, and river banks. They will occasionally nest in wetter tundra habitats but tend to selectdrier microsites (Paulson 1995). Black-bellied Plovers search for invertebrate prey visually onopen tundra during the breeding season. This species winters along the coastlines of NorthAmerica from southern Canada to Middle America (Paulson 1995). Current Alaskapopulation estimate (P. s. squatarola) is 50,000 with a declining population trend (Morrisonet...
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The Long-tailed Jaeger, the most sleek and graceful of the three jaegers, is a common bird inArctic Alaska. Similar to the larger Pomarine Jaeger, this species diet consists primarily oflemmings and voles, however, unlike the Pomarine Jaeger, Long-tailed Jaegers can withstandcyclical rodent crashes as they can readily switch to other food sources (Wiley and Lee 1998).The Long-tailed Jaegers breeding range in Alaska extends more deeply into the interior thaneither the Pomarine or Parasitic Jaeger and typically nests in drier upland tundra (Wiley and Lee1998). The current global population estimate is >150,000 – 5,000,000 (BirdLife International2012). There is no Alaska population estimate available.
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The Savannah Sparrow has a widespread breeding range across North America from thesouthern U.S. to Arctic Alaska. This species will breed in open habitats ranging from meadows,cultivated fields, grazed pastures, roadsides, coastal grasslands and tundra (Wheelwright andRising 2008). On the coastal plain of Arctic Alaska, tundra nesting habitat is often associatedwith stream/river drainages, nesting on the ground often hidden under low shrubs (Wheelwrightand Rising 2008). During the breeding season they forage in a wide range of habitats on a varietyof insect prey although seeds and other vegetative matter are also consumed (Wheelwright andRising 2008). Savannah Sparrows are short-distance migrants and winter in the...
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The Snowy Owl, a conspicuous and majestic bird of the circumpolar arctic, is an efficient hunterof small mammals in tundra environs. In years of high lemming numbers they will focus on thisabundant food source but will readily switch to a wide variety of other prey when lemmings arescarce (Parmelee 1992). Their breeding range in Alaska is generally restricted to the ArcticCoastal Plain, typically nesting in more upland tundra habitats, although they often, though notexclusively, forage in wetter tundra (Parmelee 1992). Snowy Owls are unpredictable migrantsand will sometimes “invade” portions of southern Canada and the northern contiguous US, inwinters when lemmings are scarce in the Arctic. The current global population...
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The Common Eider, a large sea duck, is more closely tied to marine environments than are manyother sea ducks. On the Arctic Coastal Plain of Alaska this species nests primarily on barrierislands and peninsulas of the Arctic Coastal Plain (a small proportion of the total area) while inother parts of its range they select quite varied nesting sites (Goudie et al. 2000). Common eidersdepend on a marine prey base, eating invertebrates (primarily mollusks and crustaceans) bydiving to the sea floor. Alaskan breeders spend their winters nearby in the Bering Sea, Gulf ofAlaska, and off Russia’s Chukotka Peninsula (SDJV 2004). Current Arctic Coastal Plainpopulation is estimated at approximately 2,000 (Dau and Bollinger 2009).


map background search result map search result map Snowy Owl Whimbrel Stilt Sandpiper Semipalmated Sandpiper Bar-tailed Godwit Dunlin Black-bellied Plover Savannah Sparrow Ruddy Turnstone Red Knot Common Raven Yellow-billed Loon Pacific Loon Steller's Eider Long-tailed Jaeger Common Eider Snowy Owl Whimbrel Stilt Sandpiper Semipalmated Sandpiper Bar-tailed Godwit Dunlin Black-bellied Plover Savannah Sparrow Ruddy Turnstone Red Knot Common Raven Yellow-billed Loon Pacific Loon Steller's Eider Long-tailed Jaeger Common Eider