Juneau Audubon Society

P.O. Box 21725

Juneau, AK 99802-1725

Summer Bird Nesting Season Observations

Juneau, Alaska



This report on migratory birds and other birds of note observed in Juneau during the 2002 nesting season was prepared by Steve Zimmerman.



The breeding season extends from June 1 through July 31.


RA = Robert Armstrong

LC = Laurie Craig

AD = Al DeMartini

RG = Richard Gordon

IM = Ian MacIntosh

DM = Deanna MacPhail

DR = Deborah Rudis

PS = Paul Suchanek

GV = Gus van Vliet

SZ = Steve Zimmerman


Yellow-billed Loon. Two in breeding plumage at Eagle Beach on 2 July (PS).

Double-crested Cormorant: Two (in flight) at mouth of Thomas Bay on 7 July (GV).

Black Brandt: Five were seen at Eagle Beach on 5 June (PS), and one was seen in Frederick Sound on 7 July (PS).

Osprey: One was seen feeding on the Mendenhall Wetlands on 6 June (LC). One was seen migrating northwards up Lynn Canal at Eagle Beach on 9 June (GV); two were seen within Thomas Bay and one was seen near Thomas Bay on 7 July (GV, PS).

Hudsonian Godwit: Large numbers were reported on the Mendenhall Wetlands during July. 13 were seen on 1 July (PS), 18 were seen on 2 July (PS), 27 were seen on 4 July (GV), and 30 were seen on 6 July (SZ). Small numbers continued to be seen through mid-August. 19 Hudsonian Godwits were seen at the mouth of Endicott Arm, on 11 July (GV, PS).

Lesser Yellowlegs: Very high numbers were seen throughout July and August on the Mendenhall Wetlands. High counts were 142 were on 1 July (PS) and 357 on 2 July (PS, GV).

Wandering Tattler. One in breeding plumage was seen at Point Bridget on 21 June (PS, RG) Photos available

Red Knot. One was seen on the Mendenhall Wetlands on 2 - 3 July (PS). Photos available.

Semipalmated Sandpiper. 800+ were seen at the Mendenhall Wetlands on 2 July (PS). This is a very large number for Juneau. High numbers of these birds were seen through at least 7 July (SZ, RG).

Wilson's Phalarope: One at Mendenhall Wetlands on 1 June (GV,), and 2 July (GV, PS RG), apparently two different individuals.

Franklin’s Gull. An adult in breeding plumage was seen and photographed at Eagle Beach on 5 June (PS).

Laughing Gull. Reported from Yakutat by PS and AD on 29 June. Details should have been sent separately.

California Gull. Two birds were seen at Eagle Beach on 5 June (PS). 20 were seen there on 17 July (PS).

Black-legged Kittiwake. Numbers of this species were present at Eagle Beach during much of June-July. The highest reported number was 400+ on 17 July (PS).

Sabine's Gull: Three birds, including at least two adults in breeding plumage, were at the mouth of Thomas Bay on 6 July; one adult was seen again on 7 July in same locality (GV, PS).

Marbled Murrelet: (1500+) within Thomas Bay on 7 July (GV). (1000+) off Eagle Beach and (2600+) east of N. Benjamin Island (~30 miles north of Juneau on Lynn Canal) on 15 July (GV). The largest aggregation noted was (4000+)(!) on Auke Bay on 20 July (GV).

Kittlitz's Murrelet: (25+, including two fish-holders) near Wood Spit, mouth of Endicott Arm, on 11 July (unpublished USFWS data, GV, PS). Endicott Arm apparently is now the southernmost mainland locality for numbers of this species as no sign of the species was found at either Thomas or LeConte Bays during extensive single-day surveys on 7 and 8 July 2002 respectively.

In addition, one was seen on Auke Bay on 21 July (GV) - this was the first record for GV for the Juneau region, after 15+ years of looking for the species, which underscores the relative rarity of Kittlitz’s Murrelets in this area.

Northern Flicker: One hybrid with red malar stripes and a red nuchal crescent was seen near Herbert River (~25 miles north of Juneau) on 6 June (GV). An additional sighting was made at Tee Harbor on 20 July (GV).

Three-toed Woodpecker. This species nested along the Eaglecrest Road and young were heard calling on 24 June (PS). The species was still being seen in this area on 17 July (IM).

Alder Flycatcher: after frequently checking historical territory sites on a regular basis during the first week or so in June, a bird was finally discovered singing near the Mendenhall Wetlands on 13 June -- ranking this species as one of the very latest passerine migrants to the Juneau area (GV).

Eastern Kingbird: one near Herbert River (~25 miles north of Juneau) on 14 June (MS,GV) on the warmest day of 2002 with temperature maximum of 82 degrees F. Another sighting was made at Norton Lake on 17 June (RG, DM, PS). Photos taken by PS.

Northern Rough-winged Swallow: one at Montana Creek, upper Mendenhall Valley, on 5 July (GV).

Cassin's Vireo: one seen at the Mendenhall Glacier Forelands 22 June (GV); two birds were subsequently found at the same locality on 23 June (PS) and 29 June (SZ).

Warbling Vireo. Two were seen at the Mendenhall Glacier Forelands on 2 June (DR), and on 29 June (SZ).

Cedar Waxwing: One was seen at Auke Bay on 13 June (GV), another was seen in mid-Mendenhall Valley on 13 June (GV). Two were at the Mendenhall Glacier Forelands on 23 June (GV), three were seen there on 29 June, one was seen there on 30 June (GV, RG), and one was seen there on 18 July (PS).

Blackpoll Warbler: A singing male was found at the Mendenhall Glacier Forelands on 30 June (GV, PS), perhaps the first breeding season record for Juneau?

Black-headed Grosbeak: A singing male at Auke Bay at 6:35 AM on 11 June (GV), perhaps the 13th Alaska record.


*Additional notes:

Data are also provided for several sites in Southeast Alaska that were visited by GV and PS during a study of Kittlitz’s Murrelet.

The Steller’s Sea Eagle has been seen at least twice this year in the Taku River area; once during the summer reporting period. It has been looked for on at least three other occasions without success.

Paul Suchanek reported hearing a bird that sounded like a Virginia Rail at the Community Garden on 1 July, but he was not able to see the bird, nor was he able to hear or find it again

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Copyright 2002 Juneau Audubon Society.
Revised: December 18, 2002.