Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
The four seasons are based on bird movements and activities during that time.
Sp - Spring - (March, April, May) - The birds arrive. The long winters in east central Alaska are broken by the increased sunlight and warmer weather that brings the first migrants back in March. While only three species regularly arrive in March (Snow Bunting, Golden Eagle, and Bald Eagle) several other hardy species occasionally arrive when conditions are favorable including: Mallard, Barrow's Goldeneye, Northern Harrier, Red-tailed Hawk, American Tree Sparrow, Dark-eyed Junco, and Lapland Longspur. Most waterbirds arrive in April as soon as there is a hint of open water, while the majority of landbirds arrive in May.
S - Summer - (June, July) - Nesting and brood rearing. Because of the high latitude there is a relatively short breeding season. Some of the earliest arriving species may have begun nesting in May or even April but the majority are still nesting in June and most young have hatched by July. This is a relatively stable time in terms of influx of new birds (except young). By late July some shorebirds are beginning their migration south.
F - Fall - (August, September, October) - The birds depart. It seems as though they just got here and they are already on their way south but winter in east central Alaska is no place for these birds to be. Most geese and migratory landbirds leave the area in August with some individuals remaining into September. The majority of young waterbirds cannot fly until August or September but depart as soon as they can. The peak of raptor and Sandhill Crane migration is in September while the majority of Tundra and Trumpeter Swans migrate in early October. By the end of October only resident species remain.
W - Winter - (November, December, January, February) - With temperatures exceeding -60° only the hardiest species remain until the first migrants return in March.
The objective for this checklist is to provide a reasonable idea to the public what the chances are of encountering a species in the upper Tanana Valley. Abundance can vary greatly from year to year and even within season in a given year. Four abundance categories are used in this checklist.
C - Common - Usually present in considerable numbers. Widely distributed.
Relatively easy to detect.
U - Uncommon - Usually present in relatively small numbers or higher numbers unevenly 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.
LOONS Sp S F W ___ Red-throated Loon X X X - ___ Pacific Loon* U C U - ___ Common Loon* R R R -
GREBES AND CORMORANTS Sp S F W ___ Horned Grebe* C C C - ___ Red-necked Grebe* U U U - ___ Double-crested Cormorant - X - -
SWANS, GEESE, DUCKS Sp S F W ___ Tundra Swan C X C - ___ Trumpeter Swan* C U C - ___ Greater White-fronted Goose C X C - ___ Snow Goose X - X - ___ Brant - X - - ___ Canada Goose* C R C - ___ Green-winged Teal* C C C - ___ Mallard* C C C X ___ Northern Pintail* C U C - ___ Blue-winged Teal* R R R - ___ Cinnamon Teal X - - - ___ Northern Shoveler* U U U - ___ Gadwall* X R X - ___ American Wigeon* C C C - ___ Canvasback* U U U - ___ Redhead* R X - - ___ Ring-necked Duck* U C U - ___ Greater Scaup R X - - ___ Lesser Scaup* C C C - ___ Harlequin Duck* X X X - ___ Oldsquaw R R X - ___ Surf Scoter* U U U - ___ White-winged Scoter* C C C - ___ Common Goldeneye* U U U - ___ Barrow's Goldeneye* U U U - ___ Bufflehead* U C U - ___ Common Merganser R R R - ___ Red-breasted Merganser - - X - ___ Ruddy Duck* X R X -
VULTURES, HAWKS, EAGLES Sp S F W ___ Turkey Vulture X - - - ___ Osprey* U U U - ___ Bald Eagle* U U U X ___ Northern Harrier* U U U - ___ Sharp-shinned Hawk* U U U - ___ Northern Goshawk* R R R R ___ Swainson's Hawk X X - - ___ Red-tailed Hawk* U U U - ___ Rough-legged Hawk U - U - ___ Golden Eagle* U R U X ___ Bald Eagle* c c c u
FALCONS Sp S F W ___ American Kestrel* U U U - ___ Merlin* R R R - ___ Peregrine Falcon* R R R - ___ Gyrfalcon* R R R -
GALLINACEOUS BIRDS Sp S F W ___ Spruce Grouse* U U U U ___ Willow Ptarmigan* U U U U ___ Rock Ptarmigan R R R R ___ White-tailed Ptarmigan - X X - ___ Ruffed Grouse* U U U U ___ Sharp-tailed Grouse* U U U U
RAILS, COOTS Sp S F W ___ Sora* X R - - ___ American Coot* X R X -
CRANES Sp S F W ___ Sandhill Crane* C U C -
PLOVERS Sp S F W ___ Black-bellied Plover X - X - ___ American Golden-Plover* U R - - ___ Semipalmated Plover* U U U - ___ Killdeer* X X X -
SANDPIPERS Sp S F W ___ Greater Yellowlegs X - - - ___ Lesser Yellowlegs* C C C - ___ Solitary Sandpiper* U U U - ___ Wanderling Tattler* - R - - ___ Spotted Sandpiper* U C U - ___ Upland Sandpiper* R R - - ___ Whimbrel* R R - - ___ Hudsonian Godwit X - - - ___ Ruddy Turnstone X - - - ___ Black Turnstone - - X - ___ Surfbird X X - - ___ Semipalmated Sandpiper U R U - ___ Western Sandpiper R - R - ___ Least Sandpiper* U U U - ___ Baird's Sandpiper R X - - ___ Pectoral Sandpiper U X - - ___ Buff-breasted Sandpiper X - - - ___ Short-billed Dowitcher - - X - ___ Long-billed Dowitcher U R U - ___ Common Snipe* U C U - ___ Red-necked Phalarope* U C U -
JAEGERS, GULLS, TERNS Sp S F W ___ Parasitic Jaeger X - - - ___ Long-tailed Jaeger X - - - ___ Black-headed Gull - X - - ___ Bonaparte's Gull* C C U - ___ Mew Gull* C C U - ___ Herring Gull R R R - ___ Glaucous-winged Gull X - - - ___ Glaucous Gull X - - - ___ Sabine's Gull - - X - ___ Arctic Tern* U C R - ___ Black Tern - X - -
DOVES Sp S F W ___ Rock Dove X X X -
OWLS Sp S F W ___ Great Horned Owl* U U U U ___ Snowy Owl - - - X ___ Northern Hawk Owl* U U U U ___ Great Gray Owl* R R R R ___ Short-eared Owl R X R - ___ Boreal Owl* R R R R
NIGHTJARS Sp S F W ___ Common Nighthawk - X X -
HUMMINGBIRDS Sp S F W ___ Anna's Hummingbird - - X -
KINGFISHERS Sp S F W ___ Belted Kingfisher* U U U -
WOODPECKERS Sp S F W ___ Yellow-bellied Sapsucker* X X - - ___ Red-breasted Sapsucker X - - - ___ Downy Woodpecker X X X X ___ Hairy Woodpecker* R R R R ___ Three-toed Woodpecker* U U U U ___ Black-backed Woodpecker* R R R R
FLYCATCHERS Sp U F W ___ Northern Flicker* C C U - ___ Olive-sided Flycatcher* R U R - ___ Western Wood-Pewee* R U R - ___ Yellow-bellied Flycatcher - X X - ___ Alder Flycatcher* R C U - ___ Least Flycatcher - - X - ___ Hammond's Flycatcher R X R - ___ Say's Phoebe* R R R -
LARKS Sp S F W ___ Horned Lark* U R - -
SWALLOWS Sp S F W ___ Tree Swallow* C U - - ___ Violet-green Swallow* C C - - ___ Bank Swallow* R U R - ___ Cliff Swallow* C C R - ___ Barn Swallow* X X - -
JAYS AND CROWS Sp S F W ___ Gray Jay* C C C C ___ Black-billed Magpie* U R U C ___ Common Raven* C C C C ___ Black-capped Chickadee* U U U U
CHICKADEES Sp S F W ___ Black-capped Chickadee* U U U U ___ Siberian Tit X X - - ___ Boreal Chickadee* C C C C
NUTHATCHES Sp S F W ___ Red-breasted Nuthatch X X X X
CREEPERS Sp S F W ___ Brown Creeper X X X -
DIPPERS Sp S F W ___ American Dipper R R R R
KINGLETS, THRUSHES Sp S F W ___ Arctic Warbler - X X - ___ Golden-crowned Kinglet - - X - ___ Ruby-crowned Kinglet* C C C - ___ Northern Wheatear - X - - ___ Mountain Bluebird* R X X - ___ Townsend's Solitaire* R R X - ___ Gray-cheeked Thrush* R R R - ___ Swainson's Thrush* U C U - ___ Hermit Thrush* U U U - ___ American Robin* C C C X ___ Varied Thrush* U u U -
WAGTAILS Sp S F W ___ Black-backed Wagtail - X - -
PIPITS Sp S F W ___ American Pipit* U R U -
WAXWINGS Sp S F W ___ Bohemian Waxwing* U U U -
SHRIKES Sp S F W ___ Northern Shrike* R X R X
STARLINGS Sp S F W ___ European Starling* X X - -
VIREO Sp S F W ___ Warbling Vireo - - X -
WARBLERS Sp S F W ___ Tennessee Warbler* - X - - ___ Orange-crowned Warbler* U U U - ___ Yellow Warbler* R U U - ___ Yellow-rumped Warbler* C C C - ___ Townsend's Warbler* R R R - ___ Blackpoll Warbler R R R - ___ Northern Waterthrush* U U U - ___ Common Yellowthroat - X - - ___ Wilson's Warbler* U R U -
SPARROWS Sp S F W ___ American Tree Sparrow* U U U X ___ Chipping Sparrow* R U R - ___ Clay-colored Sparrow X - - - ___ Timberline Sparrow* - R - - ___ Lark Sparrow - X - - ___ Savannah Sprrow* U U U X ___ Fox Sparrow* U U U - ___ Song Sparrow - - - X ___ Lincoln's Sparrow* U C U - ___ White-throated Sparrow - X - - ___ Golden-crowned Sparrow R R R - ___ White-crowned Sparrow* C C C - ___ Dark-eyed Junco* C C C X ___ Lapland Longspur C - R - ___ Smith's Longspur* - R - - ___ Snow Bunting C - R X
BLACKBIRDS Sp S F W ___ Red-winged Blackbird* R U R - ___ Western Meadowlark - X - - ___ Rusty Blackbird* C C C X ___ Brown-headed Cowbird X - X -
FINCHES Sp S F W ___ Gray-crowned Rosy-Finch X X - X ___ Pine Grosbeak* U R R R ___ Purple Finch - - X - ___ White-winged Crossbill* U U U C ___ Common Redpoll* C U U C ___ Hoary Redpoll R - X R ___ Pine Siskin X X X -
U.S. Department Of The Interior Fish and Wildlife Service USFW Tetlin National Wildlife Refuge PO Box 779 Tok, Alaska 99780This resource should be cited as:
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. No Date. Bird Checklist for Alaska Department of Game and Fish, Game Management Unit 12. Jamestown, ND: Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center Online. http://www.npwrc.usgs.govunit12.htm (Version 30DEC2002).