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Bird Checklists of the United States

Tetlin National Wildlife Refuge

Tok, Alaska


The Tetlin National Wildlife Refuge occupies about 700,000 acres of the Upper Tanana River Basin. Locally this area is called the Tetlin-Northway Flats. It is well-known for bird habitat, serving not only as an important breeding ground but also as an essential migration stop along the route between Alaska and wintering areas in the Lower-48. Some of the more significant species which pass through the area are: sandhill crane, trumpeter swans, greater white-fronted geese, Canada geese, American wigeon, green-winged teal, mallard, northern pintail, blue-winged teal, northern shoveler, and scaup (both lesser and greater). Large numbers of other birds also use this same corridor on their migration routes including bald eagles, red-tailed hawks, northern harriers, Pacific loons, American golden plovers, and numerous small passerine species including warblers, thrushes, and sparrows.

Most of the refuge is composed of a mixed coniferous-deciduous forest interspread with lakes, streams, and bogs. Several mountainous areas are also present. The most extensive habitat type is the black spruce forest. Other vegetative types include: deciduous forest, riparian woodlands, and a mixed riparian coniferous forest dominated by white spruce.

During spring migration it is common to see blackpoll warblers, ruby-crowned kinglets, and Wilson's warblers moving through the lowland forests on their way to breeding locations. Ducks, geese, swans, cranes, and shorebirds also share the refuge's varied water habitats much in the same manner. Riverine habitats afford nesting habitat for many species such as Canada geese, wigeon, and spotted sandpiper. Lakes, bogs, and streams are used for feeding, nesting, and cover, depending upon the species.


This leaflet lists all species which could be observed on the refuge at some time during the year. The abundance of each bird is designated by season:

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

Seasonal appearances at Tetlin are listed by the columns:

c - common: Usually present in considerable numbers. Widely distrubuted. Relatively easy to detect.
u - uncommon: Usually present in relatively small numbers or higher numbers unevely distributed. Not observed regularly.
r - rare: Present annually in very small numbers or locally distributed. Infrequently encountered.
x - casual/accidental: Do not occur annually. Species beyond normal range. May not occur again.
* - birds known to nest in the region


LOONS Sp S F W ___ Common Loon* o o o - ___ Arctic Loon* c c u - ___ Red-throated Loon* o o u -
GREBES Sp S F W ___ Red-necked Grebe* u u u - ___ Horned Grebe* c c o - ___ Western Grebe o r r -
SWANS, GEESE, DUCKS Sp S F W ___ Tundra Swan u o u - ___ Trumpeter Swan* u u u r ___ Canada Goose u u u - ___ Brant r r - - ___ Greater White-fronted Goose u o u - ___ Snow Goose o - o - ___ Mallard* c c c o ___ Gadwall o o o - ___ Northern Pintail* c c c - ___ Green-winged Teal* c c c - ___ Blue-winged Teal* u u u - ___ Northern Shoveler* c c c - ___ American Wigeon* c c c - ___ Canvasback* u u u - ___ Redhead* o o o - ___ Ring-necked Duck* u u u - ___ Greater Scaup* u u u - ___ Lesser Scaup* c c c - ___ Common Goldeneye* u u u - ___ Barrow's Goldeneye* u u u - ___ Bufflehead* c c c - ___ Oldsquaw* u o o - ___ Harlequin Duck* u u u - ___ White-winged Scoter* c c u - ___ Surf Scoter* u u u - ___ Ruddy Duck o r r - ___ Common Merganser* o o u - ___ Red-breasted Merganser o o o -
HAWKS, EAGLES Sp S F W ___ Northern Goshawk* u u u o ___ Sharp-shinned Hawk* u u u - ___ Red-tailed Hawk* u u u o ___ Swainson's Hawk o - - - ___ Rough-legged Hawk u o u - ___ Golden Eagle u o u - ___ Bald Eagle* c c c u ___ Northern Harrier* u u u o ___ Osprey* u u u -
FALCONS Sp S F W ___ Gyrfalcon* u u u - ___ Peregrine Falcon o o o - ___ Merlin* u u u - ___ American Kestrel* u u u -
GALLINACEOUS BIRDS Sp S F W ___ Spruce Grouse* c c c u ___ Ruffed Grouse* u u u u ___ Willow Ptarmigan* u u u u ___ Rock Ptarmigan* u u u u ___ White-tailed Ptarmigan* o o o o ___ Sharp-tailed Grouse* u u u u
CRANES Sp S F W ___ Sandhill Crane* c u u -
RAILS, COOTS Sp S F W ___ Sora r r - - ___ American Coot* o o - -
PLOVERS Sp S F W ___ Semipalmated Plover* c c u - ___ Killdeer* o o - - ___ American Golden Plover* u u - - ___ Black-bellied Plover o o - -
SANDPIPERS Sp S F W ___ Hudsonian Godwit r - - - ___ Whimbrel u o - - ___ Upland Sandpiper o o - - ___ Greater Yellowlegs r r - - ___ Lesser Yellowlegs* c c u - ___ Solitary Sandpiper u o - - ___ Spotted Sandpiper* c c u - ___ Wandering Tattler* u u o - ___ Ruddy Turnstone r - - - ___ Red-necked Phalarope* u u - - ___ Common Snipe* c c c - ___ Long-billed Dowitcher* u u - - ___ Surfbird o o - - ___ Semipalmated Sandpiper u o - - ___ Western Sandpiper r r - - ___ Least Sandpiper* u u - - ___ White-rumped Sandpiper r - - - ___ Baird's Sandpiper* u u - - ___ Pectoral Sandpiper u o - - ___ Dunlin r - - - ___ Stilt Sandpiper r - - - ___ Buff-breasted Sandpiper r - - -
JAEGERS, GULLS, TERNS Sp S F W ___ Long-tailed Jaeger* u u - - ___ Glaucous Gull r r - - ___ Herring Gull u o - - ___ Mew Gull* c c u - ___ Bonaparte's Gull* u u o - ___ Arctic Tern* u u o -
DOVES Sp S F W ___ Rock Dove o o - - ___ Mourning Dove r r - -
OWLS Sp S F W ___ Great Horned Owl* u u u u ___ Snowy Owl r - r - ___ Northern Hawk Owl* u u u o ___ Great Gray Owl* r r r r ___ Short-eared Owl* u u o - ___ Boreal Owl* u u u o
HUMMINGBIRDS Sp S F W ___ Rufous Hummingbird r - - -
KINGFISHERS Sp S F W ___ Belted Kingfisher* u u o -
WOODPECKERS Sp S F W ___ Northern Flicker* c c u o ___ Yellow-bellied Sapsucker o r - - ___ Hairy Woodpecker* u u u u ___ Downy Woodpecker* u u u u ___ Black-backed Woodpecker* r r r r ___ Three-toed Woodpecker* u u u u
FLYCATCHERS Sp S F W ___ Say's Phoebe* u u - - ___ Alder Flycatcher* c c u - ___ Hammond's Flycatcher* c c u - ___ Western Wood-Pewee* u u o - ___ Olive-sided Flycatcher* u u o -
LARKS Sp S F W ___ Horned Lark* c u o -
SWALLOWS Sp S F W ___ Violet-green Swallow* c c o - ___ Tree Swallow* c c o - ___ Bank Swallow* u u o - ___ Cliff Swallow* c c - -
CORVIDS Sp S F W ___ Gray Jay* c c c c ___ Black-billed Magpie* u u u u ___ Common Raven* c c c c
TITMICE Sp S F W ___ Black-capped Chickadee* u u u u ___ Siberian Tit* o o r r ___ Boreal Chickadee* c c c c
NUTHATCHES Sp S F W ___ Red-breasted Nuthatch* r r r r
CREEPERS Sp S F W ___ Brown Creeper r r r r
DIPPERS Sp S F W ___ American Dipper* u u u u
KINGLETS, THRUSHES Sp S F W ___ American Robin* c c u r ___ Varied Thrush* u u u - ___ Hermit Thrush* u u u - ___ Swainson's Thrush* c c u - ___ Gray-cheeked Thrush* u u u - ___ Mountain Bluebird* o o - - ___ Northern Wheatear* u u o - ___ Townsend's Solitaire* u u o - ___ Arctic Warbler* u u - - ___ Golden-crowned Kinglet r r - - ___ Ruby-crowned Kinglet* u u r -
PIPITS Sp S F W ___ Yellow Wagtail - r - - ___ American Pipit c u u -
WAXWINGS Sp S F W ___ Bohemian Waxwing* u u u o
SHRIKES Sp S F W ___ Northern Shrike* u u o -
STARLINGS Sp S F W ___ European Starling r r - -
WARBLERS Sp S F W ___ Tennessee Warbler r r - - ___ Orange-crowned Warbler* u u o - ___ Yellow Warbler* c c o - ___ Yellow-rumped Warbler* c c o - ___ Townsend's Warbler* u u o - ___ Blackpoll Warbler* u u - - ___ Northern Waterthrush* c c o - ___ Wilson's Warbler* c c o - ___ American Redstart r r - -
BLACKBIRDS Sp S F W ___ Yellow-headed Blackbird r r - - ___ Red-winged Blackbird* o o r - ___ Rusty Blackbird* c c u - ___ Common Grackle r r - - ___ Brown-headed Cowbird r r - -
SPARROWS Sp S F W ___ Savannah Sparrow* c c u - ___ Dark-eyed Junco* c c c o ___ American Tree Sparrow* c c c o ___ Chipping Sparrow* u u u - ___ White-crowned Sparrow* c c u - ___ Golden-crowned Sparrow* u u o - ___ White-throated Sparrow r r - - ___ Fox Sparrow* c c u - ___ Lincoln's Sparrow* c c u - ___ Lapland Longspur* c u u - ___ Smith's Longspur r r r - ___ Snow Bunting c u u o
FINCHES Sp S F W ___ Pine Grosbeak* u u u u ___ Rosy Finch* u u o - ___ Hoary Redpoll* c o u c ___ Common Redpoll* c c c c ___ Pine Siskin r r r - ___ White-winged Crossbill* u u u u
For more information, contact:
                       Refuge Manager
                       Tetlin National Wildlife Refuge
                       P.O. Box 779
                       Tok, Alaska 99780
                       Telephone: 907/883-5312

This resource is based on the following source:
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  No date.  Birds of the Tetlin National 
     Wildlife Refuge, Alaska.  U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  Unpaginated.
This resource should be cited as:
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  No date.  Birds of the Tetlin National 
     Wildlife Refuge, Alaska.  U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  Unpaginated.  
     Jamestown, ND: Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center Online. 
     http://www.npwrc.usgs.govtetlin.htm 
     (Version 22MAY98).

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