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Bird Checklists of the United States

Birds of Glacier Bay National Park and Reserve

small state map showing location

Gustavus, Alaska


Give Birds and Wildlife a Helping Hand

Hike and camp only on the mainland or forested islands. Treeless islands attract nesting sea birds from May 1 to September 1.

Be informed of federal regulations closing North and South Marble Islands, Lone Island, Sealer's Island and islets south of Russell Island to foot traffic during the above period.

Navigate boats around flocks of waterbirds. Many species, including loons, scoters, and canada geese are flightless during moult and vulnerable to predators and human disturbance.

Photograph all wildlife at a distance.

This is a list of the 223 bird species found to date in Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve. The park contains 5130 square miles, including both inland and offshore marine waters, rain forest, muskeg, alder/cottonwood thicket, alpine meadow and glacial barrens.

Each bird species has distinct seasonal patterns, but birds are generally most abundant from May 1 to mid-September. Sea bird colonies hatch young by late June, and are largely vacated by September 1.

Common names and taxonomic order in this booklet follow those established by the American Ornithologist's Union, 1983.


Fifteen Recommended Birding Locations

NEAR PARK HEADQUARTERS: Forest, beach meadow, and tidal flats attract many birds species, particularly during migration. Rain forest species include the three-toed woodpecker, often seen near Blackwater Pond. Shorebirds, waterfowl, and eagles use beaches. Gulls, diving ducks, and alcids feed near shore. BARTLETT COVE, BARTLETT RIVER ESTUARY, GUSTAVUS, BEARDSLEE ISLANDS.

ISLAND AND CLIFF SEABIRD COLONIES: Isolated islands offer refuge from land predators. Large numbers of glacous-winged gulls nest near tufted and horned puffins, guillemots, and oystercatchers. Since such colonies are sensitive to human disturbance, many are closed to landings. MARBLE, LONE, SOUTH RUSSELL ISLANDS AND CLIFFS SOUTH OF MARGERIE GLACIER.

REMOTE INLETS: Tidal flats and shallow waters in these areas attract a large number and variety of waterfowl. ADAMS INLET, HUGH MILLER INLET, DUNDAS BAY.

MARINE FEEDING SITES: Tidal currents and turbulence at certain locations stir food organisms to the surface for feeding sea birds. POINT CAROLUS, POINT GUSTAVUS, SITAKADAY NARROWS.


Special Glacier Bay Bird Notes

Thousands of Vancouver canada geese molt in secluded Glacier Bay Inlets. Flightless flocks linger from mid-july through August.

Among North America's most southerly nesting colonies of both the black-legged kittiwake and the Aleutian tern are in the Park.

Tufted and horned puffins are oceanic species that nest in Glacier Bay, but rarely elsewhere in Southeast Alaska's inland marine waters.

Over 50 active bald eagle nest were counted in the Park in 1982.

The most numerous local birds may be the common murre in the winter and the red-necked pharalope in late summer. Over 15,000 of each have been counted in concentrated flocks.

Kittlitz's and marbled murrelets are common summer residents yet no nests in the Park have been found.


A Bird to Watch For

The Kittlitz's murrelet reaches the southern part of its summer range at Glacier Bay. In few other places can this species be seen as easily as here.

Look for it from the Marble Islands northward in Glacier Bay, where it can be told from the similar marbled murrelet by its lighter coloring, white outer tail feathers which are spread when flushing, and tendency to "hop" from the water then skip several times prior to flight. The marbled murrelet instead generally uses a "plow and skip" method for take off.


Key to Bird Status

a--Abundant
c--Common
u--Uncommon
r--Rare (but regular)
v--Very rare (few records)
+--Casual (slightly out of range)
*--Accidental (far out of range)


Key to Locations

W.......Gulf of Alaska, Cross Sound, Pacific Coast
N.......Glacier Bay north of Muir Point plus alpine
S.......South of Muir Point, including Icy Strait
E.......Excellent chance to see (90+% of field days)
G.......Good chance to see (50-89% of field days)
s.......Some chance to see (10-49% of field days)
i.......Numbers vary greatly from year to year
#.......Nests or unfledged young found
?.......Nesting suspected

Chance to see percentages are estimated for seasons of greatest species abundance.


W N S
        Loons                             Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jne Jly Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

E E E # ___ Red-throated Loon              r   r   u   u   a   u   u   a   u   u   r   r
E E E   ___ Pacific Loon                   u   u   u   u   a   v   v   a   u   u   u   u
E E E ? ___ Common Loon                    u   u   u   a   a   c   c   a   u   u   u   u
        ___ Yellow-billed Loon             r   r   r   r   v   v   v   r   r   r   r   r
E E E   ___ Horned Grebe                   c   c   c   u   v           v   u   u   c   c
G G G   ___ Red-necked Grebe               u   u   u   u   u   u   v   u   u   u   u   u
        ___ Western Grebe                                      +           +

W N S Pelagic Species Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jne Jly Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec s ___ Black-footed Albatross v v s ___ Northern Fulmar v u u u s ___ Pink-footed Shearwater v v v v v v G s ___ Sooty Shearwater r c c r ___ Short-tailed Shearwater + + G s # ___ Fork-tailed Storm-Petrel + u u u u u u u + + ? ___ Leach's Storm-Petrel + +
W N S Geese Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jne Jly Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec G s ___ Double-crested Cormorant v v v v u r r u u v v v E E E # ___ Pelagic Cormorant c c c c a a a a c c c c ___ Amercian Bittern + + s s s # ___ Great Blue Heron r r r u u r u u u r r r ___ Great Egret + G s s ___ Tundra Swan v v v v c c c v v v ___ Trumpeter Swan v v v v v G s s ___ Greater White-fronted Goose v r r v r r v G s ___ Snow Goose r r v r r r ___ Emperor Goose + + s s ___ Brant r r r r v v E G E # ___ Canada Goose u u u u a u u u u u u u
W N S Ducks Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jne Jly Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec E G E # ___ Green-winged Teal u u u c a c u c a c u u ___ American Black Duck * * * E E E # ___ Mallard c c c a a c c a a c c c E E E # ___ Northern Pintail v v v u c u u c c u u v ___ Blue-winged Teal v r r v v ___ Cinnamon Teal v s s s ? ___ Northern Shoveler v v r r v v r r v v s ___ Gadwall v v v v u v v v v v ___ Eurasian Wigeon + + + + + + E G E ___ American Wigeon u u u c a u u c a c u u ___ Canvasback v v r v v v v ___ Redhead + + + ___ Ring-necked Duck v v v v s s ___ Greater Scaup v v r r v r r v s s s # ___ Lesser Scaup v v r r v v # ___ Common Eider v v v v v v v ___ King Eider v v v v E G E # ___ Harlequin Duck c c c c c c c c c c c c G E E ? ___ Oldsquaw a a a c c u u u u a a a s ___ Black Scoter r r r r r r v v v v v r E E E ___ Surf Scoter a a a a a a a a a a a a E E E ___ White-winged Scoter c c c c c c c c c c c c G s G ___ Common Goldeneye u u u v v v v v v u E E E ___ Barrow's Goldeneye a a a a a c c u c a a a E E E ___ Bufflehead a a a a a u v v v a a a s # ___ Hooded Merganser r r r r v v v v v r r r E E E # ___ Common Merganser u u u u u c a a a a u u E E E # ___ Red-breasted Merganser c c c c c u u u c c c c
W N S Hawks and Eagles Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jne Jly Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec ___ Osprey v v v v v v E E E # ___ Bald Eagle c c c c c c c c c c c c G G G ___ Northern Harrier v r r v v v v v v v s s s # ___ Sharp-shinned Hawk v v r r v v r r v v s s # ___ Northern Goshawk r r r r r v v v v r r r ___ Swainson's Hawk v v v v v v v s s # ___ Red-tailed Hawk v u u u u v v v ___ Rough-legged Hawk v v v v v v ___ Golden Eagle v v v v v v ___ American Kestrel v v v v v s s ___ Merlin r v v r r r v s s # ___ Peregrine Falcon v v v r v v r v v v v
W N S Grouse Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jne Jly Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec E E # ___ Blue Grouse v v r c c c c r v v v G # ___ Willow Ptarmigan r r r r r r r r r r r r s # ___ Rock Ptarmigan r r r r r r s # ___ White-tailed Ptarmigan r r r r r r r r r ___ American Coot v v E s G ___ Sandhill Crane c r v v c r v v
W N S Shorebirds Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jne Jly Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec G s G ___ Black-bellied Plover r r v r v v G s G ___ Lesser Golden-Plover r r r v v G G G # ___ Semipalmated Plover r u u u u r s s s ? ___ Killdeer v v r r r r r v v v G E G # ___ American Black Oystercatcher v v c c c c c v v v E E E # ___ Greater Yellowlegs r c u u c r v G s s # ___ Lesser Yellowlegs v r r v r v # ___ Solitary Sandpiper v v v r s s s ___ Wandering Tattler r r r r r G G G # ___ Spotted Sandpiper u c c c u r ___ Upland Sandpiper + + s s ___ Whimbrel v r v v ___ Bristle-thighed Curlew + ___ Hudsonian Godwit v v ___ Bar-tailed Godwit * * ___ Marbled Godwit v v s s ___ Ruddy Turnstone v v v r r v v s s ___ Black Turnstone v v v v v v v s s ___ Surfbird v r r r r v v v ___ Red Knot v s s ___ Sandering r r v v r r v r r ___ Semipalmated Sandpiper v r v v v E E E ___ Western Sandpiper v u v u v ___ Rufous-necked Stint + E E E # ___ Least Sandpiper v u c u c v ___ Baird's Sandpiper v v v s s ___ Pectoral Sandpiper r v r v v G s G ___ Rock Sandpiper u u u u v v v v v v u E G E ___ Dunlin v u v v v v ___ Buff-breasted Sandpiper + G s G ___ Short-billed Dowitcher v u u v v v G s G ___ Long-billed Dowitcher v u u v v v v G s G # ___ Common Snipe v v v v u u u u u v v v E E E ___ Red-necked Pharalope v v u c c a c u ___ Red Pharalope + + + ___ Pomarine Jaeger v v v v s s G # ___ Parasitic Jaeger v u u u r v ___ Long-tailed Jaeger v v v v ___ South Polar Skua *
W N S Gulls Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jne Jly Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec E E E ___ Bonaparte's Gull v u c c a a c c v E E E # ___ Mew Gull c c c c c c c c c c c c s G s # ___ Herring Gull u u u u u u u u u u u u ? ___ Thayer's Gull v v v v v v E E E # ___ Glaucous Winged Gull c c c c c c c c c c c c ___ Glaucous Gull v v E E E # ___ Black-legged Kittiwake v u c c c c c u r v ___ Ross' Gull * ___ Sabine's Gull v v v v r r ___ Ivory Gull *
W N S Terns Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jne Jly Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec ___ Caspian Tern + + ___ Common Tern * G E G # ___ Arctic Tern v v c c u v s # ___ Aleutian Tern v v v v
W N S Puffins and Alcids Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jne Jly Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec E E E # ___ Common Murre a a a u u u u u u c c a E E E # ___ Pigeon Guillemot u u u c a a a a c u u u E E E ? ___ Marbled Murrelet c c c a a a a a a c c c s G G ? ___ Kittlitz's Murrelet r r u u u r v ___ Ancient Murrelet v v v v v ___ Cassin's Auklet v v v v v v ___ Parakeet Auklet + + ___ Rhinoceros Auklet v r r r v v s G # ___ Tufted Puffin v u u u v s # ___ Horned Puffin v r r r v ___ Band-tailed Pigeon * ___ Mourning Dove v v v v
W N S Owls Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jne Jly Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec ___ Western Screech-Owl + + + ___ Great Horned Owl v v v v v v v ___ Snowy Owl + + + i ___ Northern Hawk-Owl v v v v v v v v i ___ Northern Pygmy Owl v v v v v v s s ___ Short-eared Owl v u u r r r r v v ___ Boreal Owl + + + ___ Common Nighthawk + ___ Vaux's Swift + + + G s G # ___ Rufous Hummingbird r u u u u v s s s # ___ Belted Kingfisher r r r r r u u u u r r r
W N S Woodpeckers Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jne Jly Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec ___ Red-breasted Sapsucker v v ___ Downy Woodpecker v v v v v v s ? ___ Hairy Woodpecker v v v v v v v s s # ___ Three-toed Woodpecker v v v r r r v v v v # ___ Northern Flicker v v v v v v v v
W N S Flycatchers Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jne Jly Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec ___ Olive-sided Flycatcher v v v s s ___ Western Wood-Pewee r v v v s s s ? ___ Alder Flycatcher v v v ___ Hammond's Flycatcher v s s ? ___ Western Flycatcher r r v ? ___ Say's Phoebe v v v ___ Scissor-tailed Flycatcher * * ___ Eastern Kingbird + ___ Horned Lark v v
W N S Swallows Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jne Jly Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec E E E # ___ Tree Swallow v r c c r s s s # ___ Violet-green Swallow r r r v s G s # ___ Bank Swallow v r r r ___ Cliff Swallow v v E E E # ___ Barn Swallow v c c c v v
W N S Corvids Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jne Jly Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec ___ Gray Jay v v v v v v s s # ___ Steller's Jay r r r u u u u u u r r r ___ Clark's Nutcracker + G s G ___ Black-billed Magpie c c c u r r v u c c c c G G G # ___ Northwestern Crow c c c c c c c c c c c c E E E # ___ Common Raven c c c c c c c c c c c c ___ Black-capped Chickadee + s s # ___ Chestnut-backed Chickadee u u u u r r u u u u u u ___ Red-breasted Nuthatch v v v v v v v v v ? ___ Brown Creeper r r r r r r r r r r r r s s # ___ Winter Wren r r r r r r r r r r r r s # ___ American Dipper r r r r r r r r r r r r s s # ___ Golden-crowned Kinglet r r r r r r r r r r r r E E E # ___ Ruby-crowned Kinglet v v a a u u r v v v ___ Mountain Bluebird + + +
W N S Thrushes Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jne Jly Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec ___ Townsend's Solitare + + s # ___ Gray-cheeked Thrush v r r v s s # ___ Swainson's Thrush v r r v E E E # ___ Hermit Thrush v c a a u u v E E E # ___ American Robin v v c a c c c u v v E s E # ___ Varied Thrush v v r c c c u u u v v ___ White Wagtail * E E E # ___ Water Pipit v c c u c u r v ___ Bohemian Waxwing + + + + + ___ Northern Shrike r r r r r r r r r ___ European Starling v v v
W N S Warblers Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jne Jly Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec E E E # ___ Orange-crowned Warbler v u a a a v s s s # ___ Yellow Warbler v r r r v s s # ___ Yellow-rumped Warbler v u u u r r v v ? ___ Townsend's Warbler v r r v ___ Blackpoll Warbler + + ___ American Redstart + + ___ MacGillivray's Warbler + # ___ Common Yellowthroat v v v v E E E # ___ Wilson's Warbler v a a a v ___ Western Tanager + +
W N S Sparrows Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jne Jly Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec ___ American Tree Sparrow r r v v v r r r r r ___ Chipping Sparrow + E E E # ___ Savannah Sparrow v c a a a v G E G # ___ Fox Sparrow r c a c u u v E G E # ___ Song Sparrow r r r r u u u u u u r r G s G # ___ Lincoln's Sparrow v v u u u v
W N S Sparrows and Allies Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jne Jly Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec s E s # ___ Golden-crowned Sparrow v a a u u v v v ___ White-crowned Sparrow v v v v G s G # ___ Dark-eyed Junco r r r u u u c c u r r r s s s ___ Lapland Longspur v r r r u r v v ___ Smith's Longspur + G # ___ Snow Bunting r r r r u u u u r r r r s # ___ Red-winged Blackbird v r r r v # ___ Rusty Blackbird v v r r r v v s s s ___ Brown-headed Cowbird r v v v r s G # ___ Rosy Finch v v u u c c c r s s s # ___ Pine Grosbeak r r r r r r r r r r i i ___ Red Crossbill r r r r r v v v v r r i i ___ White-winged Crossbill v v r r r v v r r r v G # ___ Common Redpoll r r r r u c c c u u r r ___ Hoary Redpoll + i i i # ___ Pine Siskin v v v v r r u a c r v v

Prepared by Bruce Paige
Illustration by R.T. Wallen
Published by the Alaska Natural History
Association in cooperation with the
National Park Service, United States
Department of the Interior.

Please help refine and add to this list by reporting
noteworthy observations with details to: Chief
Naturalist, Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve,
Gustavus, AK 99826
This resource is based on the following source:
Paige, Bruce.  1983.  Birds of Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve,
     Gustavus, Alaska.  Alaska Natural History Association in
     cooperation with the National Park Service.  Unpaginated.
This resource should be cited as:
Paige, Bruce.  1983.  Birds of Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve,
     Gustavus, Alaska.  Alaska Natural History Association in
     cooperation with the National Park Service.  Unpaginated.
     Jamestown, ND: Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center Online.
     http://www.npwrc.usgs.govglacier.htm
     (Version 02DEC99)

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