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Togiak National Wildlife Refuge

Small state map showing location.

Dillingham, Alaska


The Togiak National Wildlife Refuge is located in southwest Alaska, north of the Alaska Peninsula, and encompasses the Bristol Bay and Kuskokwim Bay areas. The Togiak Refuge's 4.3 million acres provides habitat for at least 214 species of birds including seabirds, shorebirds, waterfowl, waterbirds, landbirds, and raptors. Habitats include wetlands, rivers, lakes, tundra, rugged mountains, glacial valleys, spruce forests, birch forests, rugged sea cliffs, and beaches.

The coastal headlands of Cape Peirce and Cape Newenham are host to approximately 1.5 million seabirds, including cormorants, kittiwakes, murres, guillemots, puffins, gulls, and jaegers. Loons and grebes can also be observed in the appropriate habitats throughout the Togiak Refuge.

Nanvak Bay and Chagvan Bay are two of several coastal bays that interface Togiak Refuge where wildlife can find food and protection from wind, waves, and pounding surf. The bays and estuaries form the base of a food web feeding waterfowl, seabirds, and marine and terrestrial wildlife. Eelgrass beds, aquatic invertebrates, berries on adjacent uplands, and countless wetlands attract a large variety of waterfowl and shorebirds. At least 34 species of waterfowl have been observed. The more common species are white-fronted geese, emperor geese, and Canada geese, brant, tundra swans, wigeon, mallards, pintails, teal, scaup, eiders, harlequin ducks, scoters, and mergansers. Sandhill cranes are also observed frequently in the appropriate habitats. Thirty-nine species of shorebirds have been recorded with plovers, yellowlegs, tattlers, sandpipers, turnstones, sanderling, dunlin, dowitchers, snipe, and phalaropes the most common species.

Twenty-one species of raptors have been documented including eagles, harriers, hawks, falcons, and owls. Many other species also make the Togiak Refuge their home during the breeding season, including grouse, ptarmigan, kingfishers, flycatchers, magpies, ravens, larks, swallows, chickadees, dippers, thrushes, pipits, warblers, sparrows, longspurs, rosy finches, and redpolls.

Alaska's nearness to Siberia allows birders to see Asiatic migrants that can be seen in North America only in Alaska. The land encompassing Togiak Refuge is strategically located for many of these "rarities," including Arctic warblers, yellow wagtails, and snow buntings.


Seasons - symbols used in this list are as follows:

Sp - April to May
S - June to July
F - August to October
W - November to March

Abundance - the abundance of each species is listed by letters:

c - common (should see)
u - uncommon (might see)
cl - common locally
ul - uncommon locally
r - rare (seldom seen)

* - birds known to nest in the region
CAPS - occurs on Togiak Refuge


LOONS Sp S F W ___ RED-THROATED LOON* c c c - ___ ARCTIC LOON u u u - ___ PACIFIC LOON* cl u u - ___ COMMON LOON* c c c - ___ YELLOW-BILLED LOON r r r -
GREBES Sp S F W ___ HORNED GREBE* r r r - ___ RED-NECKED GREBE* u u u -
PETRELS, SHEARWATERS Sp S F W ___ NORTHERN FULMAR - r - - ___ SHORT-TAILED SHEARWATER - r r - ___ Fork-tailed Storm-Petrel - - r r ___ LEACH'S STORM-PETREL r - - -
CORMORANTS Sp S F W ___ DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT* cl cl cl - ___ RED-FACED CORMORANT* ul ul ul - ___ PELAGIC CORMORANT* cl cl cl -
FRIGATEBIRDS Sp S F W ___ MAGNIFICENT FRIGATEBIRD r - - -
DUCKS, GEESE Sp S F W ___ GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE* cl cl cl - ___ EMPEROR GOOSE* cl u cl - ___ SNOW GOOSE r r r - ___ CANADA GOOSE* cl u cl - ___ BRANT* cl u cl - ___ TRUMPETER SWAN - u u - ___ TUNDRA SWAN* c c c r ___ Wood Duck r - - - ___ GADWALL* r r r - ___ EURASIAN WIGEON r - - - ___ AMERICAN WIGEON* u u u - ___ MALLARD* c c c r ___ NORTHERN SHOVELER* cl cl cl - ___ NORTHERN PINTAIL* c c c - ___ BAIKAL TEAL r - - - ___ GREEN-WINGED TEAL* c c c - ___ CANVASBACK r r r - ___ REDHEAD - r - - ___ GREATER SCAUP* c c c - ___ LESSER SCAUP r r r - ___ STELLER'S EIDER cl cl cl - ___ SPECTACLED EIDER r r r - ___ KING EIDER cl ul cl - ___ COMMON EIDER* cl cl cl - ___ HARLEQUIN DUCK* c c c - ___ SURF SCOTER* u u u - ___ WHITE-WINGED SCOTER* cl cl cl - ___ BLACK SCOTER* cl cl cl - ___ LONG-TAILED DUCK* u u u r ___ BUFFLEHEAD* u u u - ___ COMMON GOLDENEYE* u u u ul ___ BARROW'S GOLDENEYE u u u - ___ COMMON MERGANSER* u u u cl ___ RED-BREASTED MERGANSER* c c c -
EAGLES, HAWKS, FALCONS Sp S F W ___ OSPREY* r r r - ___ BALD EAGLE* c c c cl ___ Stellar's Sea Eagle - - r - ___ NORTHERN HARRIER* c c c - ___ SHARP-SHINNED HAWK u u u - ___ NORTHERN GOSHAWK* r r r r ___ SWAINSON'S HAWK r - - - ___ RED-TAILED HAWK* r r r - ___ ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK* c c c - ___ GOLDEN EAGLE* u u u - ___ AMERICAN KESTREL - r r - ___ MERLIN* u u u r ___ GYRFALCON* r r r r ___ PEREGRINE FALCON* u u u -
GROUSE, PTARMIGAN Sp S F W ___ SPRUCE GROUSE* cl cl cl cl ___ WILLOW PTARMIGAN* c c c c ___ ROCK PTARMIGAN* u u u u ___ WHITE-TAILED PTARMIGAN* r r r r
CRANES Sp S F W ___ SANDHILL CRANE* c c c -
SHOREBIRDS, GULLS, TERNS Sp S F W ___ BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER* u u cl - ___ AMERICAN GOLDEN-PLOVER u u u - ___ PACIFIC GOLDEN-PLOVER* u u cl - ___ MONGOLIAN PLOVER* r r - - ___ SEMIPALMATED PLOVER* c c c - ___ BLACK OYSTERCATCHER - r - - ___ GREATER YELLOWLEGS* c c c - ___ LESSER YELLOWLEGS u u u - ___ SOLITARY SANDPIPER u u u - ___ WANDERING TATTLER* u u u - ___ GRAY-TAILED TATTLER - r - - ___ SPOTTED SANDPIPER* u u u - ___ TEREK SANDPIPER r r - - ___ WHIMBREL* u cl cl - ___ BRISTLE-THIGHED CURLEW u r u - ___ HUDSONIAN GODWIT - u u - ___ BAR-TAILED GODWIT u u u - ___ MARBLED GODWIT u - u - ___ RUDDY TURNSTONE u u u - ___ BLACK TURNSTONE* u u u - ___ SURFBIRD* u u u - ___ RED KNOT - r u - ___ SANDERLING u u cl - ___ SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPER u u u - ___ WESTERN SANDPIPER* c c c - ___ RED-NECKED STINT - r r - ___ LONG-TOED STINT - r - - ___ LEAST SANDPIPER* c c c - ___ BAIRD'S SANDPIPER r r r - ___ PECTORAL SANDPIPER* u u u - ___ SHARP-TAILED SANDPIPER - r r - ___ ROCK SANDPIPER* cl cl cl - ___ DUNLIN* cl cl cl - ___ RUFF - - r - ___ SHORT-BILLED DOWITCHER* u u u - ___ LONG-BILLED DOWITCHER u u u - ___ COMMON SNIPE* c c c - ___ RED-NECKED PHALAROPE* cl cl cl - ___ RED PHALAROPE u u u - ___ SOUTH POLAR SKUA - r - - ___ POMARINE JAEGER u u u - ___ PARASITIC JAEGER* u u u - ___ LONG-TAILED JAEGER* u u u - ___ BONAPARTE'S GULL* ul cl u - ___ MEW GULL* c c c - ___ HERRING GULL u u u - ___ THAYER'S GULL - - r - ___ SLATY-BACKED GULL - r r - ___ GLAUCOUS-WINGED GULL* c c c r ___ GLAUCOUS GULL* u u u - ___ SABINE'S GULL* u u u - ___ BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKE* cl cl cl - ___ RED-LEGGED KITTIWAKE r - r - ___ CASPIAN TERN - - r - ___ ARCTIC TERN* c c c - ___ ALEUTIAN TERN* cl cl cl - ___ COMMON MURRE* cl cl cl r ___ THICK-BILLED MURRE - r - - ___ BLACK GUILLEMOT r - - - ___ PIGEON GUILLEMOT* cl cl cl - ___ MARBLED MURRELET - u u - ___ KITTLITZ'S MURRELET* - r - - ___ PARAKEET AUKLET* cl cl cl - ___ RHINOCEROS AUKLET - r - - ___ HORNED PUFFIN* cl cl cl - ___ TUFTED PUFFIN* cl cl cl -
OWLS Sp S F W ___ GREAT HORNED OWL* u u u u ___ SNOWY OWL* u u u u ___ NORTHERN HAWK OWL* u u u u ___ GREAT GRAY OWL* u u u u ___ SHORT-EARED OWL* c c c - ___ BOREAL OWL* c r r c ___ NORTHERN SAW-WHET OWL - r - -
HUMMINGBIRDS Sp S F W ___ Anna's Hummingbird - - r - ___ RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRD - r r -
KINGFISHERS Sp S F W ___ BELTED KINGFISHER* u u u r
WOODPECKERS Sp S F W ___ Downy Woodpecker u u u u ___ HAIRY WOODPECKER u u u u ___ Three-toed Woodpecker u u u u ___ Black-backed Woodpecker u u u u
SONGBIRDS Sp S F W ___ ALDER FLYCATCHER* - c - - ___ SAY'S PHOEBE - r r - ___ NORTHERN SHRIKE* u u u u ___ GRAY JAY* u u u u ___ BLACK-BILLED MAGPIE* c c c c ___ COMMON RAVEN* c c c c ___ HORNED LARK* - cl cl - ___ TREE SWALLOW* c c c - ___ VIOLET-GREEN SWALLOW* r r - - ___ BANK SWALLOW* cl cl cl - ___ CLIFF SWALLOW* cl cl - - ___ BARN SWALLOW r r r - ___ BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEE* c c c c ___ BOREAL CHICKADEE cl cl cl cl ___ GRAY-HEADED CHICKADEE - r r - ___ RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH cl cl cl cl ___ Brown Creeper r r r r ___ WINTER WREN - r r - ___ AMERICAN DIPPER* cl cl cl cl ___ GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLET - - u - ___ RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET* cl cl cl - ___ ARCTIC WARBLER* cl c c - ___ NORTHERN WHEATEAR u u u - ___ MOUNTAIN BLUEBIRD r - - - ___ GRAY-CHEEKED THRUSH* c c c - ___ SWAINSON'S THRUSH* cl cl cl - ___ HERMIT THRUSH* c c c - ___ AMERICAN ROBIN* c c c - ___ VARIED THRUSH* cl cl cl r ___ GRAY CATBIRD - - r - ___ European Starling - - - r ___ YELLOW WAGTAIL* c c c - ___ WHITE WAGTAIL - r - - ___ RED-THROATED PIPIT - r - - ___ AMERICAN PIPIT* cl cl cl - ___ BOHEMIAN WAXWING u u u u ___ ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER* c c c - ___ YELLOW WARBLER* c c c - ___ MYRTLE WARBLER* cl cl cl - ___ PALM WARBLER - - r - ___ BLACKPOLL WARBLER* c c c - ___ NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH* - c c - ___ WILSON'S WARBLER* c c c - ___ AMERICAN TREE SPARROW* cl cl cl r ___ CHIPPING SPARROW - r - - ___ SAVANNAH SPARROW* c c c - ___ FOX SPARROW* c c c - ___ SONG SPARROW u u u - ___ LINCOLN'S SPARROW - - r - ___ HARRIS'S SPARROW - r - - ___ WHITE-CROWNED SPARROW* cl cl cl r ___ GOLDEN-CROWNED SPARROW* c c c - ___ DARK-EYED JUNCO* u u u u ___ LAPLAND LONGSPUR* c c c - ___ SNOW BUNTING* cl cl cl cl ___ MCKAY'S BUNTING u u u u ___ RED-WINDED BLACKBIRD - - r - ___ RUSTY BLACKBIRD* u u u - ___ Brown-headed Cowbird - - r - ___ Brambling - - - r ___ GRAY-CROWNED ROSY FINCH* cl cl cl - ___ Pine Grosbeak cl u u cl ___ White-winged Crossbill r - r r ___ COMMON REDPOLL* c c c c ___ HOARY REDPOLL* u u u u ___ Pine Siskin r - r r

For further information, contact:
                       Refuge Manager
                       Togiak National Wildlife Refuge
                       P.O. Box 270
                       Dillingham, Alaska 99576
                       Telephone: 907/842-1063
This resource is based on the following source:
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  2002.  Togiak National Wildlife Refuge
     bird checklist.  U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  Unpaginated.
This resource should be cited as:
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  2002.  Togiak National Wildlife Refuge
     bird checklist.  U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  Jamestown, ND:
     Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center Online.
     http://www.npwrc.usgs.govtogiak.htm
     (Version 21FEB2003).

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