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 2003 nesting season was prepared by Steve Zimmerman.



The breeding season extends from June 1 through July 31.


RA = Robert Armstrong

BA = Bev Agler

MB = Matt Brooks

RG = Richard Gordon

JK = James King

MLK = Mary Lou King

JL = James Levison

DM = Deanna MacPhail

NM = Nina Mollett

DR = Deborah Rudis

MS = Mark Schwan

PS = Paul Suchanek

KT = Kim Titus

GV = Gus van Vliet

SZ = Steve Zimmerman


Yellow-billed Loon. One in basic plumage was seen on June 14 near Benjamin Island (GV); a bird that was beginning to molt was seen near Point Bridget on July 29 (PS, GV).

Double-crested Cormorant. An adult was seen on June 22 at Auke Bay. This is a rare species in northern mainland SE Alaska in any season (GV).

Blue-winged Teal. Two males were seen on the Mendenhall Wetlands on June 20 (GV).

Canvasback. A male was seen on Moose Lake July 24 – 26 (DM). This species is very rarely seen in the summer in Juneau.

Hooded Merganser. A female with ducklings was seen on Norton Lake on June 3, 2003 (DM).

Northern Harrier. A bird in first-summer immature plumage was seen on July 7 in the alpine of Mount Roberts (GV).

Red-tailed Hawk. One was seen near the Point Bridget parking area on June 23 (GV).

Merlin. Nesting was observed at three locations in Juneau including sites in the Mendenhall Valley, North Douglas (DM, DR) and along Fritz Cove Road (KT) in early June.

Sanderling. Three adults in breeding plumage were observed on July 21 at Mendenhall Wetlands (PS).

Lesser Yellowlegs. Thirty were seen on June 20 on the Mendenhall Wetlands—did the shorebird fall migration begin on the last day of spring (GV)? Good numbers of Lesser Yellowlegs were seen the rest of the summer period on the wetlands. Overall, the numbers of shorebirds moving through in early July were low.

Red-necked phalarope: Five molting adults were observed on a tidal slough on the Mendenhall Wetlands on July 17 (PS, photo), an unusual sighting for Southeast Alaska away from saltwater.

Pomarine Jaeger. A light-phase adult was seen making a partial circuit of Berners Bay, several hundred yards from shore on July 25 (PS). This is the first observation of this species from the Juneau road system.

Parasitic Jaeger. Two light-phase adults were seen patrolling Berners Bay on June 29 (PS,GV)

Ring-billed Gull. An adult was seen on the North Douglas side of the Mendenhall Wetlands on July 26 (SZ) and July 28 (PS).

California Gull. Small numbers were reported from Eagle Beach, the Mendenhall Wetlands and Fish Creek throughout the summer season with peak numbers of up to 25 on the Mendenhall Wetlands in late July. First, second and third year birds, and adults, were seen and photographed (PS, m.obs.)

Glaucous Gull. A first-summer immature was seen on June 7 at Auke Bay (GV) and June 12 at Fish Creek (PS) – perhaps the same bird.

A large pink-footed albino or leucistic gull with a dark eye was observed at Eagle Beach from July 11 through July 28 (PS, photos). It was pure white and glaucous-winged gull sized but with a fairly slender bill showing a slight dark smudge on it as if an adult.

Black-legged Kittiwake. A peak of 700+ immatures/adults were seen on June 23 at Eagle Beach (GV) and many immatures were present all season in Lynn Canal and Berners Bay.

Caspian Tern. One was seen at Eagle Beach on June 1 (PS, SZ, JL), one was seen at Point Bridget on June 10 (RG), 3 were seen on the Mendenhall Wetlands on June30 (MS), two were seen at Eagle Beach on July 16 (PS), and three were seen on the wetlands near Fish Creek on July 15 (PS).

Great Horned Owl. Great Horned Owls were observed nesting along the Mendenhall Peninsula and two birds fledged successfully (NM, m.obs.)

Western Screech Owl. A brood of four, newly fledged, Western Screech Owls and at least one calling adult were found near Fish Creek on July 14. The adult had first been heard calling on July 10 (PS, BA). An adult and at least one young were still being seen on July 29.

Northern Saw-whet Owl. One was seen at the Mendenhall Glacier on July 6 (DM, BA).

Anna’s Hummingbird. An immature female was seen feeding at a columbine patch in the Squire’s Rest area on June 23 (GV)—a rare summer record for Alaska.

Northern Flicker. One was calling on June 14 at 36 mile (GV).

Hammond’s Flycatcher. One was observed calling on June 8 and June 25 on the Mendenhall Glacier forelands (GV, PS).

Eastern Kingbird. A single bird was seen briefly along the trail to the Boy Scout camp near Eagle River on July 16 (PS).

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher. A bird in breeding plumage was seen in the Sunny Point area on July 9 (JK, MLK). The bird remained in the area for about 12 hours and was well photographed (JK, PS, RA). This is the first documented record for Alaska. Photo by Paul Suchanek

Cassin’s Vireo. A bird found at Sandy Beach in May, was seen there through June 8 (PS). One was also seen at Point Bridget on June 10 (RG).

Cedar Waxwing. One was seen near Brotherhood Bridge on June 10 (DM), two were seen at Lemon Creek on June 30 (GV), 2 were seen on Mendenhall Forelands on July 18 (PS), and 2 were seen near Jordon Creek on July 23 (MS).

Northern Mockingbird. One was seen and photographed on the beach just past the Cowee Meadows Cabin on July 25 (PS). It was searched for and not found on June 29. This bird is listed as accidental in Juneau with perhaps only two previous records. Photo by Paul Suchanek

American Pipit. Three pair with food in their bills were seen on July 7 in the alpine of Mount Roberts (GV).

Tennessee Warbler. An adult male was singing loudly on July 4 at mile 40 (GV). A singing bird was found at Fish Creek on July 10 (PS,SZ), and was still there on July 18 (MB).

MacGillivray’s Warbler. First heard/seen in Sheep Creek on June 3 (PS), five were there on June 9 (RG).

Common Yellowthroat. A maximum of six were seen or heard at the Eagle Cabin on June 12-13 (MB).

American Redstart. The first bird seen in Juneau this year was an adult male in the Mendenhall Glacier forelands on June 4 (DM). A first summer male sang all day on June 23 in Bayview Subdivision on North Douglas Island (SZ). A male and female with food in their bills, and giving alarm calls, were seen on July in the lower Mendenhall Valley on July 4 (GV).

Western Tanager. A male was singing on June 5 and 14 in the Peterson Creek/Amalga area (GV, PS). A female was seen near Moose Lake on June 18 (PS). This species seemed to be scarce this summer.

Gray-crowned Rosy Finch (littoralis subspecies). A male with bill packed with food flew to the north face of Gastineau Peak in the high-alpine area of Mount Roberts on July 19 (GV).

White-winged Crossbill. Four juveniles were feeding together on a black aphid infestation on fireweed on the Mendenhall Wetlands on July 21—a suggestion of breeding activity in Juneau which is uncommon here (GV).

Common Redpoll. A juvenile was seen along the Mendenhall Wetlands dike trail on July 17 (GV). This is the first reported summer record since 1967, and the first breeding record for the Juneau area.

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Copyright 2003 Juneau Audubon Society.
Revised: August 24, 2003.