Species of Birds Found in Alaska

Species of Birds Found in Alaska

Alaska is a birds’ heaven. With more than 500 documented species, birds’ enthusiasts are sure of getting unique thrill following them in the woods, swamps, bays, and rock crevices. Here are some of the species that you should expect to see in Alaska.

  • The least sandpiper: Though this bird looks like other sandpipers, it is easily identifiable because of its small body. It is the smallest documented shorebird in the entire globe.
  • Black legged kittiwake: This black-legged Kittiwake is a species of smaller gulls that establishes its nest in open rocks. Though this nest location protects the chicks from threats on the ground, they are left prone to other dangers from above especially the dangerous Eagles.
  • The Northern Shoveler: This bird is found in Alaska and Canada. Its distinguishing characteristic includes an elongated bill that is wider on the tip and contains small protections that help strain food from water. Males are dark green on the head and rusty sides while females have a brown head and appear speckled all over the body.
  • Red necked grebes: This is a migratory bird that only comes to Alaska in summer to breed. It is known for aggressive behaviour during the summer while those that remain in winter are very quiet. Notably, the bird swallows its feathers to assist with filtering indigestible bones. Besides, it flies mostly at night but navigates in the water during the day.
  • Horned puffins: This is one of the most beautiful birds that every watcher who comes to Alaska wants to see. Their bills are dark-red, backs are black while the underside is white. What makes them even more attractive are the orange feet and unique horny feathers that roll back from behind the eyes. They usually come to the rocky coastline of Alaska where they live in colonies before departing.
  • The common raven: These are the common crows that have existed for years. They have a special attraction to people and will always follow you to the Alaskan hiking camps or party sites. In winter they can be seen resting in groups of thousands or more.
  • The Northern Goshawk: This is one of the carrion birds that can be easily spotted all over Alaska. It hides in trees targeting prey especially other smaller birds and rodents among other smaller animals.
  • The emperor goose: It has a typical goose body with a white head and black body with thin white lines. They are true arctic residents and rarely go far from Alaska and Siberia.
  • The bald eagle: This is a bird of prey known for building very wide nests for many years. They are fast when taking on prey and are even known to swim when taking fish from the water.
  • Common loon: The common loon is an easy spot in Northern wild lands of Alaska. They spend most of the time in the water. The legs are positioned on the far back that helps them to propel through the water rapidly. The bird only leaves the water to lay eggs and heads back when the chicks are a few days old.
  • Parasitic Jaeger: Bird watchers commonly refer to the Parasitic Jaeger as a ‘fish pirate’ because it steals food from other birds with ruthlessness. Any bird that comes close to it is harassed with multiple dives and pecks and is known to cause trouble even to bigger birds.

 

 

Hunting for Birds in Alaska

Hunting for Birds in Alaska

Hunting your favourite birds in Alaska is enthralling. It is an easy and enthralling opportunity to get attached to nature and appreciate its diversity. Notably, hunting birds is considered part of small game, and does not need a license. Fortunately, the birds are in plenty, and you can enjoy following the species of choice. To make the expedition even more enthralling here is all that you need to know.

Common birds that you can go hunting in Alaska

As you march with a short gun on the shoulder and dry leaves cracking under your weight, the main birds you are likely to get in the wilderness include ruffled grouse, spruce grouse, ptarmigan species, and sooty grouse. Most of these birds will hide or fly away from you into the woods. You should, therefore, search for thickly covered areas and high-bush cranberries. Other hiding areas include birch and spruce forests that provide a wide range of food from insects to nectar. Do not forget to check on river valleys and marshlands where many birds frequent to drink.

Using hunting dogs and guide

Notably, the wilderness that birds inhabit is also home to thousands of dangerous bears. To hunt successfully and keep off bears, it is advisable to consider using a guide. The guides know routes that bears use and will easily help you to stay away from trouble during a hunting expedition. You can get a list of top guides in Alaska from a simple search on the internet.

Whether you prefer to use a guide or not, a trained hunting dog will be an invaluable asset. The dog will retrieve the birds such as waterfowls, grouses, and ptarmigan from their hiding so that you can follow them and take a shot.

Hunting gear and equipment

As a bird hunter, you require the right gear to stay safe when away from home. Make sure you have the right waterproof boots that rise well above the ankle. They should be fitting and have firm treads to make movement in the wild easy.

You will also require chaps/hunting vests that provide ample pockets for your short gun shells and carrying the birds you shoot. Most of the shooting vests are also carefully designed to guarantee adequate camouflage so that birds do not note as you approach. Other gear includes warm jackets and long pants to protect your feed. Note that the Alaskan weather can change rather fast and it is advisable to be ready with ran vests.

Best guns for hunting birds

To bring down the common birds such as ptarmigan and grouse, the best rifle is the light shotgun. Many hunters appear to have a special preference for the 9, 8, and 7½ lead shots because birds are light and usually flush at close range. If you will be hunting waterfowl, it is advisable to go for a heavier riffle, preferably the 12-gauge short gun. This is because you will need to fire at a longer range.