Alaska Nature

Birding Alaska

Alaska's vast wilderness invites you to explore 325 million acres of public land; 6,600 miles of coastline; 2,670 named islands; over 130 volcanoes; and an elevation ranging from the continent’s highest peak, at over 20,000 feet, to its deepest ocean trench, at 25,000 feet deep. Visit Barrow on the Arctic Ocean to see Spectacled Eider and polar bear on the same day. The far western village of Nome is your gateway to breeding Bluethroat and Bristle-thighed Curlew. Less extreme but far more accessible, Anchorage and the Kenai Peninsula comprise a microcosm of Alaska habitats, from alpine tundra to rocky seashore. A boat ride from Seward can produce up to 10 different Alcids; alongside your boat, watch for Dall’s Porpoise and Fin Whale. Wetlands around Anchorage support breeding Hudsonian Godwit and Arctic Tern. Look for American Three-toed Woodpecker and Boreal Chickadee nesting in the adjacent woodlands. If you need your wildness to be more extreme, visit St. Paul Island in the Pribilofs, where you can wade through waist-deep wildflowers on your way to seacliffs with nesting Red-faced Cormorants and Red-legged Kittiwakes scattered among the thousands of Thick-billed Murres and Least Auklets. Not extreme enough? Venture to the Yupik village of Gambell on St. Lawrence Island, a major magnet for Asian vagrants. For an incredibly different Alaska experience, join the Anchorage Christmas Bird Count, where they often tally over 10,000 Bohemian Waxwings, and stop through Fairbanks for an outstanding showing of the Northern Lights.

What to See in Alaska

Notable Birds in Alaska (click species name to see related articles)

Notable Mammals and Other Wildlife

  • Moose
  • Alaskan Brown Bear
  • Polar Bear
  • Black Bear
  • Elk
  • Fin Whale
  • Dall's Porpoise

Other Attractions

  • The Northern Lights

Where and When to Go

Nature & Birding Hotspots in Alaska

  • Adak
  • Barrow
  • Nome
  • Seward Peninsula
  • Gambell
  • Pribilofs (St. Paul's Island)
  • Dutch Harbor

Alaska Birding and Nature Tours

  • Forrest Davis of High Lonesome BirdTours has offered birding tours to Alaska (and worldwide) for more than 20 years.

Alaska Ecolodges/Accommodations

  • Anchorage - Long House Alaskan Hotel

Best Time to Go

  • May is a good time for Aleutian Island trips

Visit Alaska

Scroll Up