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Bird Checklists of the United States

Birds of Seward, Alaska

Mile 18 Seward Highway,
Resurrection Bay,
and the Chiswell Islands


Definition of Species Status Terminology

A - Abundant. Species occurs repeatedly in proper habitats, with available habitat heavily utilized, and/or the region regularly hosts great numbers of the species.

C - Common. Species occurs in all or nearly all proper habitats, but some areas of presumed suitable habitats are occupied sparsely or not at all and/or the region regularly hosts large numbers of the species.

U - Uncommon. Species occurs regularly, but utilizes only some or very little of the suitable habitat, and/or the region regularly hosts relatively small numbers of the species; not observed regularly even in proper habitats.

R - Rare. Species occurs, or probably occurs, regularly within the region, but in very small numbers.

CA - Casual. Species has been recorded no more than a few times, but irregular observations are likely over a period of years.

AC - Accidental. A species so far from its normal range that further observations are unlikely; usually occurs singly.

+ - Confirmed as breeding in the checklist area.

SP - Spring .... 1 March to 15 June
S - Summer ... 16 June to 15 August
F - Fall .......... 16 August to 30 November
W - Winter .... 1 December to 28 February

Definitions are from B. Kessel and S. S. Gibson. 1978. Status and distribution of Alaska birds. Studies in Avian Biology No. 1 Cooper Ornithological Society.

Phylogenetic sequence and English names according to James F. Clements Birds of the World - A Checklist. Fourth Edition.


SPECIES SEEN GREBES SP S W F ___ Red-necked Grebe C U C C ___ Horned Grebe C U C C
SHEARWATERS SP S W F ___ Northern Fulmar+ U U U R ___ Sooty Shearwater R C U - ___ Short-tailed Shearwater U C U R
STORM-PETRELS SP S W F ___ Leach's Storm-Petrel CA - - - ___ Fork-tailed Storm-Petrel
CORMORANTS SP S W F ___ Double-crested Cormorant+ U C U U ___ Red-faced Cormorant C C C R ___ Pelagic Cormorant+ C C C R
DUCKS, SWANS, GEESE SP S W F ___ Trumperer Swan R - - CA ___ Tundra Swan Greater R R - - ___ Greater White-fronted Goose R - - - ___ Emperor Goose - - - CA ___ Canada Goose+ C U U CA ___ Brant U - R - ___ Eurasian Wigeon U - - - ___ American Wigeon U U U U ___ Gadwall+ R - - - ___ Green-winged Teal+ C C C CA ___ Mallard+ C U C C ___ Northern Pintail+ C U U CA ___ Blue-winged Teal+ CA CA - - ___ Northern Shoveler C - - - ___ Canvasback R - - - ___ Ring-necked Duck CA CA - - ___ Greater Scaup C R C C ___ Lesser Scaup - - R R ___ Common Eider CA - - CA ___ King Eider CA - CA CA ___ Steller's Eider - - CA CA ___ Harlequin Duck+ C C C C ___ Oldsquaw+ U R R U ___ Black Scoter U U U U ___ Surf Scoter C C C C ___ White-winged Scoter+ U U U U ___ Common Goldeneye C R C C ___ Barrow's Goldeneye C U C C ___ Bufflehead C R C C ___ Hooded Merganser R CA CA R ___ Red-breasted Merganser U U C C ___ Common Merganser U U C A
HERONS SP S W F ___ Great Blue Heron R R R R
OSPREY SP S W F ___ Osprey CA - - -
HAWKS, EAGLES SP S W F ___ Bald Eagle+ C C C C ___ Northern Harrier+ C U C - ___ Sharp-shinned Hawk+ C U C R ___ Northern Goshawk+ R R R R ___ Swainson's Hawk - - AC AC ___ Red-tailed Hawk - - R R ___ Rough-legged Hawk R - R - ___ Golden Eagle R R R -
FALCONS SP S W F ___ Merlin R R - R ___ Peregrine Falcon R R R R
GROUSE SP S W F ___ Spruce Grouse+ C C C C ___ Willow Ptarmigan+ C C C C ___ Rock Ptarmigan C C C C ___ White-tailed Ptarmigan U U U U
CRANES SP S W F ___ Sandhill Crane R - - -
SANDPIPERS SP S W F ___ Common Snipe C C C CA ___ Hudsonian Godwit U U U - ___ Bar-tailed Godwit CA - - - ___ Marbled Godwit U - - - ___ Whimbrel C - - - ___ Greater Yellowlegs+ C U U - ___ Lesser Yellowlegs C C C - ___ Solitary Sandpiper - R - - ___ Spotted Sandpiper+ C C C AC ___ Gray-tailed Tatler - AC - - ___ Wandering Tattler C U U - ___ Ruddy Turnstone U R R - ___ Black Turnstone U R R - ___ Short-billed Dowitcher C - U - ___ Long-billed Dowitcher R - - - ___ Surfbird C U C - ___ Semipalmated Sandpiper R R R - ___ Western Sandpiper C U C - ___ Least Sandpiper+ C U C - ___ Baird's Sandpiper U CA - - ___ Pectoral Sandpiper U - - - ___ Rock Sandpiper C U C C ___ Dunlin U - - U ___ Red-necked Phalarope C C C AC ___ Red Phalarope - - R -
OYSTERCATCHERS SP S W F ___ Black Oystercatcher+ U C U U
PLOVERS SP S W F ___ Pacific Golden-Plover C R U - ___ American Golden-Plover C R U - ___ Black-bellied Plover C - CA AC ___ Semipalmated Plover+ C C C - ___ Killdeer - - CA -
GULLS AND TERNS SP S W F ___ Mew Gull+ A A C C ___ Ring-billed Gull - CA - - ___ Glaucous-winged Gull+ A A A A ___ Glaucous Gull - - R R ___ Thayer's Gull - - - U ___ Herring Gull U R U R ___ Black-headed Gull AC - - - ___ Bonaparte's Gull C U C CA ___ Sabine's Gull CA - - - ___ Black-legged Kittiwake+ C A C C ___ Red-legged Kittiwake - - AC - ___ Caspian Tern - AC - - ___ Arctic Tern+ C C U - ___ Aleutian Tern R - AC -
JAEGERS SP S W F ___ Pomarine Jaeger R - R - ___ Parasitic Jaeger R - R - ___ Long-tailed Jaeger U R R -
AUKS, ALCIDS SP S W F ___ Common Murre+ C C C C ___ Thick-billed Murre+ R R R R ___ Pigeon Guillemot C C C U ___ Marbled Murrelet C C C C ___ Ancient Murrelet U U U R ___ Cassin's Auklet CA CA - - ___ Parakeet Auklet U U U R ___ Crested Auklet - AC - - ___ Rhinoceros Auklet+ U U U R ___ Horned Puffin+ C C U R ___ Tufted Puffin+ C C U R
LOONS SP S W F ___ Red-throated Loon - - U R ___ Pacific Loon U U C C ___ Common Loon+ U C C C ___ Yellow-billed Loon - - R R
PIGEONS AND DOVES SP S W F ___ Rock Dove U U U U ___ Mourning Dove - - - AC
OWLS SP S W F ___ Western Screech-Owl R R R R ___ Great Horned Owl+ U U U U ___ Great Gray Owl - - CA - ___ Northern Hawk Owl R - - R ___ Boreal Owl+ U U U U ___ Northern Saw-whet Owl+ U U U R ___ Short-eared Owl+ R R - -
HUMMINGBIRDS SP S W F ___ Rufous Hummingbird U U - -
KINGFISHERS SP S W F ___ Belted Kingfisher U U U U
WOODPECKERS SP S W F ___ Downy Woodpecker+ U U U U ___ Hairy Woodpecker+ R R R R ___ Three-toed Woodpecker+ R R R R ___ Black-backed Woodpecker - - - CA ___ Northern Flicker R R R CA
TYRANT FLYCATCHERS SP S W F ___ Olive-sided Flycatcher - R - - ___ Western Wood-Peewee R R - - ___ Alder Flycatcher+ U U - -
CROWS AND JAYS SP S W F ___ Steller's Jay+ C C C C ___ Gray Jay U U U U ___ Black-billed Magpie+ A A A A ___ Northwestern Crow C C C C ___ Common Raven+ C C C C
SHRIKES SP S W F ___ Northern Shrike+ U U U U
WAXWINGS SP S W F ___ Bohemian Waxwing+ U U U R ___ Cedar Waxwing - - - AC
DIPPERS SP S W F ___ American Dipper+ U U U U
THRUSHES SP S W F ___ Varied Thrush+ C C C R ___ Townsend's Solitaire - AC - - ___ Gray-cheeked Thrush U U U - ___ Swainson's Thrush U U U U ___ Hermit Thrush C C C - ___ American Robin+ C C C R
STARLINGS SP S W F ___ European Starling AC - AC AC
NUTHATCHES SP S W F ___ Red-breasted Nuthatch+ R R R R
CREEPERS SP S W F ___ Brown Creeper U U U U
WREN SP S W F ___ Winter Wren R R R R
SWALLOWS SP S W F ___ Tree Swallow+ C C R - ___ Violet-green Swallow+ C C R - ___ Purple Martin AC - - - ___ Bank Swallow+ C C R - ___ Barn Swallow+ CA CA - - ___ Cliff Swallow+ C C R -
KINGLETS SP S W F ___ Ruby-crowned Kinglet A A U CA ___ Golden-crowned Kinglet U U U U
CHICKADEES SP S W F ___ Black-capped Chickadee C C C C ___ Boreal Chickadee U U U U ___ Chestnut-backed Chickadee C C C C
LARKS SP S W F ___ Horned Lark - CA - -
PIPITS SP S W F ___ American Pipit C U U -
SISKINS, CROSSBILLS AND ALLIES SP S W F ___ Brambling - - - AC ___ Pine Siskin C C C C ___ Hoary Redpoll - - - AC ___ Common Redpoll+ C C C C ___ Gray-crowned Rosy-Finch R R R R ___ Pine Grosbeak C C C C ___ Red Crossbill R R R R
NEW WORLD WARBLERS SP S W F ___ Orange-crowned Warbler C C C - ___ Yellow Warbler C C U - ___ Yellow-rumped Warbler C C C C ___ Townsend's Warbler C C C - ___ Blackpoll Warbler U U U - ___ Northern Waterthrush U U U - ___ Wilson's Warbler C C C -
BUNTINGS, SPARROW, ALLIES SP S W F ___ Lapland Longspur - U U - ___ Snow Bunting U R U U ___ McKay's Bunting - - - AC ___ Fox Sparrow C C C CA ___ Song Sparrow U U U U ___ Lincoln's Sparrow U U U CA ___ White-crowned Sparrow U U U R ___ White-throated Sparrow - - - AC ___ Golden-crowned Sparrow C C C R ___ Dark-eyed Junco C C C U ___ Savannah Sparrow C C C - ___ American Tree Sparrow R - R R
BLACKBIRDS SP S W F ___ Red-winged Blackbird CA - - - ___ Rusty Blackbird+ U U U R

Using the checklist and reporting new or unusual sightings

This list is a summary of the occurrences, distribution and relative abundance of the birds of Seward, Alaska, the Resurrection River valley and the waters of Resurrection Bay. This list is a revision of the first checklist published in 1988 by Jon Andrew, Ruth McHenry, Robert Scher, Dr. David Sonneborn and Thede Tobish.

Gaps in our Knowledge of birds and their distribution are still evident. Especially obvious is the lack of breeding records for quite common birds of the Seward area. To report sightings, and for recorded information on recent sightings, call the Seward Rare Bird Alert Phone Number 907-224-BEAK or in Anchorage call 907-338-BIRD.


Funding for the printing of this checklist was provided by Alaska Natural History Association., National Park Service, Challenge Cost Share Program, with assistance by Kenai Fjord National Park and Chugach National Forest.
This resource is based on the following source:
Andrew, Jon, McHenry, Ruth, Scher, Robert, Sonneborn, Dr. David, Tobish, Thede.
     1997. Birds of Seward, Alaska. Seward Chamber of Commerce. Unpaginated. 
This resource should be cited as:
Andrew, Jon, McHenry, Ruth, Scher, Robert, Sonneborn, Dr. David, Tobish, Thede.
     1997. Birds of Seward, Alaska. Seward Chamber of Commerce. Unpaginated. 
     Jamestown, ND: Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center Online. 
     http://www.npwrc.usgs.govseward.htm 
     (Version 03MAR00)

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