The Birds of Alaska

Alaska is a wonderful region to explore for anyone who loves birds and charismatic megafauna. In this episode, we look at Alaska’s geography, its major ecosystems, and the overall characteristics of its birdlife.

July 19, 2021

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The Birds of Alaska


Alaska is a truly amazing place that is still dominated by nature. It’s a wonderful region to explore for anyone who loves birds and charismatic megafauna. Many of Alaska’s vast natural areas are relatively intact. They offer endless opportunities for visitors to immerse themselves in raw nature.

I recently returned from leading a birding tour in Alaska and I was inspired to make a podcast episode about the Birds of Alaska.

We’ll first get a sense of Alaska’s geography, then we’ll consider the major ecosystems of the region, and then we’ll get into some of the overall characteristics of the birdlife of Alaska.

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Research Citations

Photos of Some Species Mentioned

Tufted Puffins (Fratercula cirrhata) in Glacier Bay, Alaska. Photo by Ivan Phillipsen.
Whimbrel (Numenius phaeopus) on Arctic Tundra, Alaska. Photo by Ivan Phillipsen.
Male Willow Ptarmigan (Lagopus lagopus). Photo by Ivan Phillipsen.
Male McKay's Bunting (Plectrophenax hyperboreus). Photo by Agami/Adobe.
Common Redpoll (Acanthis flammea). Photo by Bobby Griffiths/Adobe
Northern Hawk Owl (Surnia ulula). Photo by Milan/Adobe.
Northern Wheatear (Oenanthe oenanthe). Photo by Benny Trapp/Adobe.


  • Gray-cheeked Thrush sounds (Xeno Canto recording XC323009)
  • Golden-crowned Sparrow sounds (Xeno Canto recording XC322859)
  • Northern Waterthrush sounds (Xeno Canto recording XC602018)
  • Willow Ptarmigan sounds (Xeno Canto recording XC135138)

This work by Ivan Phillipsen is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0


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