AD Main Menu

Photos: Birds of summer 2014

A red-necked grebe preens at Cheney Lake on Friday, June 5, 2014. Grebes build floating nests on shallow lakes.
Bob Hallinen / Alaska Dispatch News
A Canada goose takes in a dandelion meal near the shore line of Cheney Lake on Friday, June 5, 2014.
Bob Hallinen / Alaska Dispatch News
A goose has some fishing line tightly wrapped around one leg at Cheney Lake in East Anchorage, AK on Wednesday, July 16, 2014.
Bob Hallinen / Alaska Dispatch News
A pair of Canada geese and their goslings swim near the shore line of Cheney Lake on Friday, June 5, 2014.
Bob Hallinen / Alaska Dispatch News
A gaggle of goslings fight over a morsel of bread at Cheney Lake in East Anchorage, AK on Wednesday, July 16, 2014. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game strongly discourages people from feeding wild ducks and geese.
Bob Hallinen / Alaska Dispatch News
An Arctic terns is on the hunt above Potter Marsh at sunset along the Seward Highway and Turnagain Arm on Monday, June 23, 2014.
Bob Hallinen / Alaska Dispatch News
A pair of Arctic terns squabble over a perch at Potter Marsh along Turnagain Arm near the Seward Highway on Sunday, June 22, 2014.
Bob Hallinen / Alaska Dispatch News
An Arctic tern sits in a rain storm at Potter Marsh and along Turnagain Arm in Anchorage, AK on Sunday, June 20, 2014.
Bob Hallinen / Alaska Dispatch News
Arctic terns perch on the roots of a tree on the mudflats along Turnagain Arm across the Seward Highway from Potter Marsh as a rainbow forms against the Kenai Mountains in Anchorage, AK on Sunday, June 20, 2014.
Bob Hallinen / Alaska Dispatch News
An Arctic tern hovers over Potter Marsh along Turnagain Arm near the Seward Highway as the sunset lights up the clouds on Tuesday, June 10, 2014.
Bob Hallinen / Alaska Dispatch News
Two Canada geese goslings fight over a worm on the shore of Cheney Lake on Tuesday, June 10, 2014.
Bob Hallinen / Alaska Dispatch News
A cormorant takes flight along with a flock of gulls from the mud flats at the mouth of Ship Creek in Anchorage, AK on Friday, June 6, 2014.
Bob Hallinen / Alaska Dispatch News
A red-necked grebe adjusts it's clutch of eggs on a nest at Cheney Lake on Friday, June 5, 2014. Grebes build floating nests on shallow lakes.
Bob Hallinen / Alaska Dispatch News
A red-throated loon floats on the water of Lake Hood Float Plane Base as a mosquito flies by on Tuesday, June 3, 2014.
Bob Hallinen / Alaska Dispatch News
A pair of Arctic terns interact in the sky above Potter Marsh along the Seward Highway across from Turnagain Arm as the setting sun lights up their feathers on Tuesday, June 3, 2014.
Bob Hallinen / Alaska Dispatch News
An Arctic tern dives into the water of Potter Marsh along the Seward Highway across from Turnagain Arm at sunset on Tuesday, June 3, 2014. The tern was on the hunt for small fish to feed its chicks.
Bob Hallinen / Alaska Dispatch News
An Arctic tern returns to the nest as the sunset is reflected in Potter Marsh along the Seward Highway across from Turnagain Arm at on Tuesday, June 3, 2014.
Bob Hallinen / Alaska Dispatch News
The setting sun breaks around a feather stuck in the the mud flats across from Potter Marsh along Turnagain Arm near the Seward Highway on Wednesday, May 21, 2014.
Bob Hallinen / Alaska Dispatch News
A pair of geese left a trail of tracks in the mud flats across from Potter Marsh along Turnagain Arm near the Seward Highway on Wednesday, May 21, 2014.
Bob Hallinen / Alaska Dispatch News
An Arctic tern bathes in the waters of Potter Marsh along the Seward Highway across from Turnagain Arm on Sunday, May 18, 2014.
Bob Hallinen / Alaska Dispatch News
A pair of geese fly across the setting sun over the mud flats across from Potter Marsh along Turnagain Arm near the Seward Highway on Sunday, May 18, 2014.
Bob Hallinen / Alaska Dispatch News
Bob Hallinen

Before long, thousands of birds who have summered in Alaska will start their trek south. According to Audubon Alaska, 501 bird species in 64 families are found in Alaska. Dispatch News photojournalist Bob Hallinen spent much of his summer tracking them in and around Southcentral, and we present the fruits of his patient efforts here.

While spring is typically the season of bird festivals in Alaska, marking the return of our avian visitors, there are still some late-season events of note:

Tanana Valley Sandhill Crane Festival: This Aug. 22-24 event in Fairbanks celebrates the fall migration with nature walks, a driving tour of birding hotspots, research talks and plenty of crane watching at Creamer's Field Migratory Waterfowl Refuge, where daily sandhill crane tallies can top 1,000. George Archibald of the International Crane Foundation is the featured guest.

Alaska Bald Eagle Festival: The Nov. 10-16 festival in Haines marks one of the largest bald eagle gatherings in the world, with as many as 3,000 raptors arriving in the Chilkat River Valley to sample the late run of tasty chum salmon. Among the events are photography workshops, wildlife presentations, tours and live raptor presentations.

Which birds frequent Southcentral Alaska much of the summer?  A survey last year by the Birds ‘n’ Bogs citizen science program initiated by Audubon Alaska and the University of Alaska Anchorage counted these boreal birds in Anchorage and the Matanuska Valley: 108 lesser yellowlegs, 22 greater yellowlegs, 2 olive-aided flycatchers, 23 solitary sandpipers, 30 rusty blackbirds, 339 tree swallows and 89 violet-green swallows.