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Bird Checklists of the United States

Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge
and Kodiak Island Archipelago

Kodiak, Alaska


Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1941 to preserve and protect the pristine habitat of the brown bear and other wildlife. The refuge comprises more than two-thirds of Kodiak Island and a small portion of Afognak Island.

Kodiak is the largest island in the Gulf of Alaska. A thirty mile span of notoriously treacherous ocean, the Shelikof Strait, separates the island from the Alaska mainland.

Spruce forest blankets lowlands in the eastern third of the archipelago, while to the west, tundra prevails. A backbone of mountains rising to over 4,000 feet runs the length of Kodiak Island. Eight hundred miles of coastline with associated shallows and marshes exist on the Kodiak Refuge alone.

In winter the area is important to sea ducks and other water birds whose combined populations number well over a million birds. A wide variety of upland and marine habitats, and temperatures moderated by the Gulf of Alaska, give Kodiak the greatest diversity of wintering birds in the State.

Summer brings nesting birds from land and sea. Bank Swallows arrive from South America and puffins fly in from deep North Pacific waters. Many breeders are year-round residents. While Kodiak is not in a major migratory bird pathway, a variety of migrants can be seen in small numbers.

This checklist contains 237 species that have been recorded in the archipelago. Most of these have also been found on the Kodiak refuge.


a - Abundant, species is very numerous in all proper habitat; the region regularly hosts great numbers of the species; sighting likelihood excellent.
c - Common, species occurs regularly in most proper habitat; sighting likelihood good.
u - Uncommon, species usually present in relatively small numbers, or higher numbers unevenly distributed; sighting likelihood fair to poor.
r - Rare, species occurs regularly in the region but in very small numbers; sighting likelihood poor.
+ - Casual or accidental, species has been recorded no more than a few times; usually occurs singly; sighting likelihood very poor.

Sp - Spring - March to May
S - Summer - June to August
F - Fall - September to November
W - Winter - December to February

Birds names in capitals represent birds recorded on Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge


LOONS Sp S F W ___ RED-THROATED LOON* u u u r ___ Pacific Loon r + c u ___ COMMON LOON* c c c c ___ Yellow-billed Loon r + r r
GREBES Sp S F W ___ Pied-billed Grebe - - - + ___ HORNED GREBE c r c c ___ RED-NECKED GREBE* u r u u
ALBATROSS Sp S F W ___ Laysan Albatross u u u + ___ Black-footed Albatross c c c - ___ Short-tailed Albatross + + + +
SHEARWATERS Sp S F W ___ Northern Fulmar a a a c ___ Mottled Petrel u u u - ___ Pink-footed Shearwater + + + - ___ Flesh-footed Shearwater + + - - ___ Buller's Shearwater + r r - ___ Sooty Shearwater a a c r ___ Short-tailed Shearwater a a c r
STORM PETRELS Sp S F W ___ Fork-tailed Storm-Petrel* c c c u ___ Leach's Storm-Petrel* u u u -
CORMORANTS Sp S F W ___ DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT* u u u u ___ RED-FACED CORMORANT* u u u r ___ PELAGIC CORMORANT* c c c c
HERONS Sp S F W ___ GREAT BLUE HERON r + r r ___ Great Egret + + - -
SWANS, GEESE, DUCKS Sp S F W ___ GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE u + r - ___ EMPEROR GOOSE c + u c ___ Snow Goose + - + - ___ CANADA GOOSE* u u u + ___ BRANT c r + + ___ Trumpeter Swan + + + + ___ TUNDRA SWAN* u u u r ___ Wood Duck - - + - ___ GADWALL* c u c c ___ EURASIAN WIGEON u + r r ___ AMERICAN WIGEON* c c c u ___ MALLARD* a c a a ___ Spot-billed Duck - - + - ___ BLUE-WINGED TEAL r + - - ___ Cinnamon Teal + + - - ___ NORTHERN SHOVELER c r r + ___ NORTHERN PINTAIL* a c u u ___ GREEN-WINGED TEAL* c c c u ___ CANVASBACK + - + + ___ REDHEAD + + + + ___ RING-NECKED DUCK r - r r ___ Tufted Duck r + + r ___ GREATER SCAUP* a c a a ___ Lesser Scaup* u r u u ___ STELLER'S EIDER c + u c ___ Spectacled Eider + - - + ___ KING EIDER c r u c ___ COMMON EIDER* u u u u ___ HARLEQUIN DUCK* c c c c ___ SURF SCOTER c u c c ___ WHITE-WINGED SCOTER a c a a ___ BLACK SCOTER* a u a a ___ OLDSQUAW a r a a ___ BUFFLEHEAD c + c c ___ COMMON GOLDENEYE* u r u u ___ BARROW'S GOLDENEYE* c u c c ___ Smew + - - + ___ HOODED MERGANSER + + + + ___ COMMON MERGANSER* c c c c ___ RED-BREASTED MERGANSER* c c c c
HAWKS, EAGLES Sp S F W ___ OSPREY + + r - ___ BALD EAGLE* c c c c ___ STELLER'S SEA-EAGLE - + - - ___ NORTHERN HARRIER u r u r ___ SHARP-SHINNED HAWK r u u r ___ NORTHERN GOSHAWK* u u u u ___ Red-tailed Hawk + - - - ___ ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK* u u u + ___ GOLDEN EAGLE* u u u u
FALCONS Sp S F W ___ American Kestrel - + + + ___ MERLIN* r u u r ___ GYRFALCON r r r r ___ PEREGRINE FALCON* u r u u
GALLINACEOUS BIRDS Sp S F W ___ WILLOW PTARMIGAN* c c c c ___ ROCK PTARMIGAN* c c c c
RAILS ___ American Coot - - + +
CRANES Sp S F W ___ SANDHILL CRANE + + + -
PLOVERS Sp S F W ___ BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER u u u - ___ AMERICAN GOLDEN PLOVER u r u - ___ Pacific Golden-Plover u r u - ___ Magnolia Plover - + - - ___ SEMIPALMATED PLOVER* c c r - ___ KILLDEER - + - +
OYSTERCATCHERS Sp S F W ___ BLACK OYSTERCATCHER* c c c c
SANDPIPERS Sp S F W ___ GREATER YELLOWLEGS* u c u - ___ LESSER YELLOWLEGS r c r - ___ Solitary Sandpiper - r - - ___ WANDERING TATTLER c c u - ___ Gray-tailed Tattler + - - - ___ SPOTTED SANDPIPER* r u r - ___ Upland Sandpiper - + - - ___ WHIMBREL u r r - ___ Bristle-thighed Curlew + + + - ___ black-tailed Godwit - + - - ___ Hudsonian Godwit - + - - ___ Bar-tailed Godwit r + + + ___ Marbled Godwit r - - - ___ RUDDY TURNSTONE r r r - ___ BLACK TURNSTONE u u u u ___ SURFBIRD* u u u u ___ Red Knot + + + - ___ SANDERLING r r r + ___ Semipalmated Sandpiper + r + - ___ WESTERN SANDPIPER u c u - ___ Temminck's Stint - + - - ___ LEAST SANDPIPER* c c r - ___ Baird's Sandpiper - u r - ___ Pectoral Sandpiper r u c - ___ Sharp-tailed Sandpiper - + u + ___ ROCK SANDPIPER* c u c c ___ DUNLIN u r u u ___ Curlew Sandpiper - + - - ___ Stilt Sandpiper - r + - ___ Buff-breasted Sandpiper - + + - ___ Ruff - + + - ___ SHORT-BILLED DOWITCHER* u u r - ___ Long-billed Dowitcher + + r - ___ COMMON SNIPE* c c r - ___ RED-NECKED PHALAROPE* u a u - ___ Red Phalarope u u u -
JAEGERS, GULLS, TERNS Sp S F W ___ South Polar Skua - + + - ___ Pomarine Jaeger u c c - ___ PARASITIC JAEGER* c c c - ___ LONG-TAILED JAEGER* u u u - ___ Franklin's Gull + + - - ___ Black-headed Gull + + - - ___ BONAPARTE'S GULL u u u - ___ MEW GULL* c c a a ___ Ring-billed Gull + + + + ___ California Gull + + + - ___ HERRING GULL u r r r ___ Iceland Gull (inc. Thayer's Gull) r - r r ___ LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL + + - - ___ Slaty-backed Gull + + + + ___ GLAUCOUS-WINGED GULL* a a a a ___ GLAUCOUS GULL u r u u ___ Great Black-backed Gull + - - + ___ SABINE'S GULL U U U - ___ BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKE* a a a u ___ Red-legged Kittiwake + + + + ___ CASPIAN TERN - + - - ___ ARCTIC TERN* c c r - ___ ALEUTIAN TERN* u u + -
MURRES, MURRELETS, AUKLETS, PUFFINS Sp S F W ___ Dovekie - + - - ___ COMMON MURRE* c c a a ___ Thick-billed Murre* r r r r ___ PIGEON GUILLEMOT* c c c c ___ Long-billed Murrelet - - - + ___ MARBLED MURRELET* c c c c ___ Kittlitz's Murrelet r u r r ___ ANCIENT MURRELET* r u u r ___ Cassin's Auklet* r u u + ___ Parakeet Auklet* r r r + ___ Least Auklet + + + + ___ CRESTED AUKLET + + c c ___ Rhinoceros Auklet r u r r ___ HORNED PUFFIN* c c c r ___ TUFTED PUFFIN* a a a r
DOVES Sp S F W ___ MOURNING DOVE - + + -
OWLS Sp S F W ___ SNOWY OWL + - + + ___ NORTHERN HAWK OWL* r r r r ___ Great Gray Owl - - - + ___ SHORT-EARED OWL* u u u r ___ BOREAL OWL* u u u u
NIGHTJARS Sp S F W ___ Common Nighthawk - - + -
HUMMINGBIRDS Sp S F W ___ Rufous Hummingbird + + + -
KINGFISHERS Sp S F W ___ BELTED KINGFISHER* c c c c
WOODPECKERS Sp S F W ___ Yellow-bellied Sapsucker - - + - ___ Red-breasted Sapsucker + + + + ___ DOWNY WOODPECKER* u u u u ___ Hairy Woodpecker - + + + ___ THREE-TOED WOODPECKER* u u u u ___ NORTHERN FLICKER - - + -
FLYCATCHERS Sp S F W ___ Eastern Kingbird - + - -
SHRIKES Sp S F W ___ Northern Shrike u u u u
CORVIDS Sp S F W ___ BLACK-BILLED MAGPIE* c c c c ___ NORTHWESTERN CROW* c c c c ___ COMMON RAVEN* c c c c
LARKS Sp S F W ___ Horned Lark + + + -
SWALLOWS Sp S F W ___ TREE SWALLOW* c c r - ___ VIOLET-GREEN SWALLOW* c c r - ___ BANK SWALLOW* u a r - ___ CLIFF SWALLOW r + - - ___ BARN SWALLOW + r - -
TITMICE Sp S F W ___ BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEE* c c c c
NUTHATCHES Sp S F W ___ RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH* u u u u
CREEPERS Sp S F W ___ BROWN CREEPER* u u u u
WRENS Sp S F W ___ WINTER WREN* c c c c
DIPPERS Sp S F W ___ AMERICAN DIPPER* u u u u
KINGLETS, THRUSHES Sp S F W ___ GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLET* c c c c ___ Ruby-crowned Kinglet r + r r ___ GRAY-CHEEKED THRUSH* r c + - ___ Swainson's Thrush - + - - ___ HERMIT THRUSH* a a c - ___ AMERICAN ROBIN r r r r ___ VARIED THRUSH* c c c u
STARLINGS Sp S F W ___ European Starling r - r r
PIPITS Sp S F W ___ Yellow Wagtail - + - - ___ AMERICAN PIPIT* c c c +
WAXWINGS Sp S F W ___ BOHEMIAN WAXWING - - r r ___ Cedar Waxwing - - + +
BUNTINGS, SPARROWS, AND ALLIES Sp S F W ___ ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER* c c r + ___ YELLOW WARBLER* r a u - ___ YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER r u r - ___ Townsend's Warbler - + + + ___ Palm Warbler - - + - ___ Blackpoll Warbler - + - - ___ WILSON'S WARBLER* u a u + ___ AMERICAN TREE SPARROW u - u u ___ SAVANNAH SPARROW* a a c + ___ FOX SPARROW* a a c r ___ SONG SPARROW* u u u u ___ Lincoln's Sparrow + + r r ___ White-throated Sparrow - - + + ___ Harris's Sparrow + - + + ___ WHITE-CROWNED SPARROW r + r r ___ GOLDEN-CROWNED SPARROW* a a c r ___ DARK-EYED JUNCO u + u u ___ LAPLAND LONGSPUR* a a c + ___ Rustic Bunting - - - + ___ SNOW BUNTING* u u u u ___ McKay's Bunting + - - +
BLACKBIRDS Sp S F W ___ Red-winged Blackbird - - + - ___ RUSTY BLACKBIRD r - r r
FINCHES Sp S F W ___ Brambling + - + + ___ ROSY FINCH* u u u u ___ PINE GROSBEAK* c c c c ___ Red Crossbill* r r r r ___ WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILL* u u u u ___ COMMON REDPOLL* c c c c ___ Hoary Redpoll + - - + ___ PINE SISKIN* c c c c
Compiled by Richard MacIntosh. If you find any birds listed as rare, casual or not recorded on this checklist, please report, along with complete field observation notes, to Refuge headquarters. For further information, contact:
                     Refuge Manager
                     Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge
                     1390 Buskin River Road
                     Kodiak, Alaska 99615
                     Telephone: 907/487-2600
This resource is based on the following source:
MacIntosh, R.  1998.  Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge and Kodiak Island 
     Archipelago bird list.  U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  Unpaginated.
This resource should be cited as:
MacIntosh, R.  1998.  Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge and Kodiak Island 
     Archipelago bird list.  U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  Unpaginated.  
     Jamestown, ND: Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center Online. 
     http://www.npwrc.usgs.govkodiak.htm 
     (Version 01FEB00).

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