Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Round Island, Alaska
C - Common - species occurs in all or nearly all proper habitats, but some areas of presumed suitable habitat are occupied sparsely or not at all or the island regularly hosts large numbers of the species.
U - Uncommon - species occurs regularly, but uses only some or very little of the suitable habitat or the island regularly hosts relatively small numbers of the species; not observed regularly even in proper habitats.
R - Rare - species occurs, or probably occurs, regularly on and near the island, but in very small numbers.
A - Casual/Accidental - species has been recorded no more than a few times, but irregular observations are likely over a period of years or a species so far from its normal range that further observations are unlikely.
* - Nesting - known or probably nesting species on Round Island.
SPECIES STATUS FAMILY: Gaviiidae ___ red-throated loon Gavia stellata A ___ Pacific loon G. pacifica A
FAMILY: Podicipedidae ___ horned grebe Podiceps auritus A ___ red-necked grebe P. grisegena A
FAMILY: Procellariidae ___ northern fulmar Fulmarus glacialis R ___ short-tailed shearwater Puffinus tenulrostris R
FAMILY: Phalacrocoracidae ___ double-crested cormorant Phalacrocorax auritis R ___ pelagic cormorant P. pelagicus C* ___ red-faced cormorant P urile R
FAMILY: Anatidae ___ emperor goose Chen canigica R ___ brant Branta bernicia A ___ green-winged teal Anas crecca R ___ mallard A. platyrhynchos A ___ northern pintail A acuta R ___ American wigeon A. americana R ___ common eider Somateria mollissima A ___ king eider S. spectabilis U ___ Steller's eider Polysticta stelleri R ___ harlequin duck Histrionicus histrionicus U ___ oldsquaw Clangula hyemalis R ___ black scoter Melanitta nigra A ___ white-winged scoter M. fusca R ___ bufflehead Bucephala albeola A
FAMILY: Accipitridae ___ bald eagle Haliaeetus leucocephalus U* ___ northern harrier Circus cyaneus R ___ rough-legged hawk Buteo lagopus R
FAMILY: Falconidae ___peregrine falcon Falco peregrinus R
FAMILY: Phasianidae ___ rock ptarmigan Lagopus mutus A
FAMILY: Gruidae ___ sandhill crane Grus canadensis R
FAMILY: Charadriidae ___ semipalmated plover Charadrius semipalmatus A
FAMILY: Scolopacidae ___ wandering tattler Heteroscelus incanus U ___ spotted sandpiper Actitis macularia A ___ whimbrel Numenius phaeopus R ___ ruddy turnstone Arenaria interpres R ___ black turnstone A. melanocephala R ___ surfbird Aphriza virgata A ___ western sandpiper Calidris mauri R ___ rock sandpiper C. ptilocnemis R ___ dunlin C. alpina R ___ short-billed dowitcher Limnodromus griseus A ___ common snipe Gallinago gallinago U ___ red-necked phalarope Phalaropus lobatus A ___ red phalarope P. fulicaria A
FAMILY: Laridae ___ pomarine jaeger Stercocararius pomarinus A ___ mew gull Larus canus A ___ glaucous-winged gull L. glaucescens C* ___ glaucous gull L. hyperboreus U ___ black-legged kittiwake Rissa tridactyla C*
FAMILY: Alcidae ___ common murre Uria aalge C* ___ thick-billed murre U. lomvia R ___ pigeon guillemot Cepphus columba C* ___ marbled murrelet Brachyramphus marmoratus A ___ parakeet auklet Cyclorrhynchus psittacula C* ___ least auklet Aithia pusilia U* ___ crested auklet A. cristatella C* ___ tufted puffin Fratercula cirrhata C* ___ horned puffin F. corniculata C*
FAMILY: Strigidae ___ short-eared owl Asio flammeus R
FAMILY: Picidae ___ woodpecker (hairy or downy)Picoides sp. A
FAMILY: Hirundinidae ___ tree swallow Tachycineta bicolor R ___ bank swallow Riparia riparia R ___ cliff swallow Hirundo pyrrhonota A
FAMILY: Corvidae ___ black-billed magpie Pica pica A ___ common raven Corvus corax C*
FAMILY: Paridae ___ black-capped chickadee Parus atricapillus A
FAMILY: Cincidae ___ American dipper Cinclus mexicanus A
FAMILY: Muscicapidae ___ ruby-crowned kinglet Regulus calendula A ___ hermit thrush Catharus guttatus C* ___ American robin Turdus migratorius A ___ varied thrush Ixoreus naevius A
FAMILY: Motacillidae ___ yellow wagtail Motacilla flava R ___ American pipit Anthus rubescens C*
FAMILY: Emberizidae ___ orange-crowned warbler Vermivora celata U* ___ yellow warbler Dendroica petechia U* ___ yellow-rumped warbler D. coronata R ___ Wilson's warbler Wilsonia pusilla U* ___ American tree sparrow Spizella arborea U* ___ savannah sparrow Passerculus sandwichensis C* ___ fox sparrow Passerella iliaca U* ___ song sparrow Melospiza melodia R ___ golden-crowned sparrow Zonotrichia atricapilla C* ___ white-crowned sparrow Z. leucophrys U ___ dark-eyed junco Junco hyemalis A ___ Lapland longspur Calcarius lapponicus C* ___ snow bunting Plectrophenax nivalis R ___ western meadowlark Strunella neglecta A ___ rusty blackbird Euphagus carolinus A ___ brown-headed cowbird Molothrus ater A
FAMILY: Fringillidae ___ rosy finch Leucosticte arctoa R ___ white-winged crossbill Loxia leucoptera A ___ common redpoll Carduelis flammea U*
Any birds listed as "rare" or "casual/accidental" on this list, and any evidence (nest or chicks) for a bird not listed as a breeding species, should be shown to Round Island staff for verification. If a bird not included in this checklist is seen, it should also be verified.
To document a sighting you may take a photograph, using a telephoto lens. Whether or not a photo is taken, you should take a very careful look at the bird remembering as much detail as possible. Point out the bird to others without saying what you think it is. If possible, compare notes while looking at the bird after other observers have had a chance to identify it. Before checking a field guide, write a brief description and sketch the bird showing the pattern of markings and labeling colors. Then check your field guide to confirm your sighting. Report unusual sightings to Round Island staff as soon as possible.
Bird species inhabiting Round Island are relatively well known. Lists of birds observed during summer field seasons have been compiled by the following researchers and staff residing on the island: E.H. Miller and B. Hines (1972), J. Sherburne (1985, 1986), J. Sherburne and B. Lipchak (1987), P. Hessing and J. Brandt (1988), and P. Hessing and G. Sheffield (1989, 1990). The lists were generally compiled from May to August.
Relative abundance is les well known. Only Miller, Aumiller, P.D. Arneson and D. McDonald (1976, 1977), and R.J. Sinnott (1990) have attempted to quantify abundance. Hence, this checklist should be considered provisionary. Similarly, additional nesting attempts and casual/accidental vagrants are likely to be observed. Hopefully, this list will focus future attention on the birds of Round Island, and it will be updated periodically as new observation are collected.
Round Island seems to attract fewer unusual birds than islands in the western Aleutians, and many of the species on this list are casual or accidental vagrants that are unlikely to be encountered by visitors. If you are hoping to see some of the more typical birds of western Alaska (such as jaegers), plan to spend at least a few hours birding in the vicinity of Togiak Cannery and Dillingham
Sinnott, Rick and Hessing, Polly. Spring 1991. Birds of Round Island, Alaska, Walrus Islands State Game Sanctuary. Alaska Department of Fish and Game. Unpaginated.This resource should be cited as:
Sinnott, Rick and Hessing, Polly. Spring 1991. Birds of Round Island, Alaska, Walrus Islands State Game Sanctuary. Alaska Department of Fish and Game. Unpaginated. Jamestown, ND: Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center Online. http://www.npwrc.usgs.govroundmam.htm (Version 13MAR00).