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Alaska State – Bird Watching and Feeding

Willow Ptarmigan

Those that watch and feed birds in Alaska have the opportunity to enjoy northern species, many seldom seen in the Lower 48. Several chickadees call Alaska home, including: Black-capped, Chestnut-backed, Boreal and Gray-headed Chickadees.

Alaska State Bird is Willow Ptarmigan

Bird feeding

Developing bird-friendly habitat in your yard is the best way to attract a greater variety of species and to support local and migrating species. Native plants provide food and cover, are more insect and disease resistant than non-native species, and may require less water. A list of bird-friendly native plants for Alaska are available by following the link on the left.


The Mountain Bluebird is the only one of the three bluebird species to summer as far north as Alaska, where it summers in large parts of central and eastern Alaska. It can be found in higher elevations in open meadows in coniferous forests.

The Mountain Bluebird is well known for its hovering flight as it hawks for insects.


mountain bluebird

Male and female Mountain Bluebirds


The hardy Rufous Hummingbird summers along the coast in southern Alaska.

Visit the hummingbird section for details on attracting hummingbirds.

rufous hummingbird

Male Rufous Hummingbird


Alaska provides birders with a variety of excellent birding locations. The North Slope is the breeding home for many shorebird species and the Aleutian Islands offer the serious birder a chance to see Asian species not typically seen in the United States.

The birding section of this site has tips on birding locations and bird identification. The state-based birding information section provides more localized information.

Alaska Resource Information

Anchorage Audubon Society
P.O. Box 101161
Anchorage, AK 99510

Arctic Audubon Society
PO Box 82098
Fairbanks, AK 99708

Juneau Audubon Society
PO Box 21725
Juneau, AK 99802

Kodiak Audubon Society

PO Box 1756
Kodiak, AK 99615

Prince William Sound Audubon Society
PO Box 2511
Cordova, AK 99574


Alaska Birding Resources

Alaska’s range of natural habitats – arctic, tundra, boreal forests, rainforest, and seacoasts – reflects a wide diversity of ecosystems and therefore, bird species. The diversity of habitats and the migration patterns to Alaskan breeding grounds offer a magnificent display and an amazing opportunity to see birds in their breeding plumage that many birders rarely get to observe.

The Nifty Fifty

The Nifty Fifty is a mini-guide to the birds of Alaska. It includes descriptions, images, video and songs of 50 of the most often observed birds of Alaska.

Alaska State Bird Information

Checklist of Alaska Birds

Mat-Su Bird Club

Recent Alaska Bird Sightings

(907) 338-2473 Statewide

(907) 451-9213 Fairbanks

(907) 235-7337 Kachemak Bay

Alaska Birding Locations

Attu Island

Kodiak Island Birding


Willow Ptarmigan

Alaska State Bird – Willow Ptarmigan


Alaska Birding Festivals

Alaska Bald Eagle Festival
Usually in November
Haines, Alaska
Phone: (907) 766-3094
Three-day celebration of the winter population peak of eagles: educational seminars, family and special events. Most Festival activities are held at the American Bald Eagle Foundation museum, conveniently located at the corner of Second Avenue and the Haines Highway. Here you will attend wildlife workshops, meet for tours, classes and live raptor presentations. Daily busses and/or vans will carry you safely to the Alaska Bald Eagle Preserve to witness the annual “Gathering of the Eagles. ” At this time of year, over 3,000 eagles can be found in the Preserve feeding on a late run of salmon. The Festival includes a variety of evening entertainment to round out your Festival experience.

Copper River Delta Shorebird Festival
Usually in May
Cordova, Alaska
The tidal flats of the Copper River Delta shimmer with the activity of hundreds of shore birds. As many as 5 million shorebirds rest and feed here during spring migration. The Copper River Delta Shorebird Festival is the ideal opportunity for bird watchers to be part of this epic migration.

Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival
Homer, Alaska
Alaska’s largest nature festival, celebrating birds, and offering over 50 events, including birding, nature, and photography workshops, presentations, field and boat excursions, and family friendly Junior Birding program. Keynote Speakers Bill Thompson, III of BIRD WATCHERS’ DIGEST magazine and Noah Strycker, Associate Editor of BIRDING magazine, with more speakers to be announced.
Contact Robbi Mixon, 907-235-7740,
[email protected].

Kenai Birding Festival
A birding MUST! Birders of all ages and abilities will enjoy this 4-day festival on the Kenai Peninsula. From guided birding hikes and social birding opportunities to Kenai Fjord guided boat tours and engaging educational workshops there is something for everyone in beautiful, bird centric Kenai.

Stkine River Garnet Festival
Third week in April
Wrangell, Alaska
Phone: 800-347-4462 or 907-874-4311 – Email: [email protected]
The festival was designed to enhance the education of Wrangell’s school children, community and visitors about the wildlife and history of the Stikine River Delta as well as encourage economic development and diversity for the community. The festival celebrates the arrival of the largest springtime concentration of Bald Eagles in North America on the Stikine River Delta, the arrival of spring in Alaska as well as the history of Garnet Ledge. The variety and large springtime concentration of wildlife on the Stikine’s (Stik-Heen) delta sets the Garnet Festival apart from all other festivals in Alaska.

About the Author

Sam Crowe

Sam is the founder of He has been birding for over 30 years and has a world list of over 2000 species. He has served as treasurer of the Texas Ornithological Society, Sanctuary Chair of Dallas Audubon, Editor of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology's "All About Birds" web site and as a contributing editor for Birding Business magazine. Many of his photographs and videos can be found on the site.

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