Juneau Audubon Society

P.O. Box 21725

Juneau, AK 99802-1725

Fall Bird Migration Observations

Juneau, Alaska



This report on migratory birds and other birds of note observed in Juneau during Fall, 2005 was prepared by Gus VanVliet.



The Fall migration period extends from August 1 through November 30.

Note:  To readers. All known sightings of birds that are occasional, or rarer than occasional, on the Juneau checklist--for the summer/fall seasons that correspond to the ABA Fall Migration season (August – November) have been noted here.  All sightings of birds that are rare, or very rare for the appropriate seasons are in bold type.


GB = Gwen Baluss

MB = Matt Brooks

ED = Emily Drews

RG = Rich Gordon

MM = Mary McCafferty

PP = Pat Pourchot

PR = Patty Rose

JS = Jeff Sauer

MS = Mark Schwan

PS = Paul Suchanek

GVV = Gus VanVliet

SZ = Steve Zimmerman


Emperor Goose: (1) very early bird at Eagle Beach on 20 September (MS, photo) – perhaps only the 3rd or 4th record for Juneau. Amazingly, according to Birds of B.C., there are no September or October records for British Columbia despite scores of records between November – May.

Eurasian Wigeon: (1) male at Fish Creek, North Douglas on 9-10 November (PS).

Common Goldeneye x Barrow’s Goldeneye: (1) hybrid male on 2 November at Point Louisa (PS – photos), perhaps same bird (or another?) observed on 10 November at Fish Creek, North Douglas.

Redhead: (1) male at Pioneer Home marsh on 2-7 October (GV, MS).

King Eider: (1) female at Pt. Bridget on 19 November (PS, photo). Photo by Paul Suchanek

Pied-billed Grebe: (1) at Dredge Lake, Mendenhall Glacier Forelands, on 5 October (RG), and (1) at Fish Creek, N. Douglas I., on 21 October (PS).

Western Grebe: (1) at Auke Bay on 9 October and 6 November (GV).

Osprey: (1) at Mendenhall Wetlands on 10 September (GV, PP) and (1) at Eagle Beach and Tee Harbor on 11 September (GV).

Northern Harrier: (1) late-lingering immature at Mendenhall Wetlands on 27 November (GV).

Virginia Rail: (1) at Mendenhall Wetlands on 5 October (MS), the first fall record for Alaska!

American Coot: (2) adults at Twin Lakes on 8 October (GV) building to a maximum of (5) on 9 November (PS, MS) with one lingering to 25 November, and (1) on a slough at the  Mendenhall Glacier Forelands on 19 October (RG).

Golden Plover sp.: a flock of (8) at Mendenhall Wetlands on 28 August (GV).

Killdeer: a large flock of (26) at Fish Creek, N. Douglas on 29 August (PS).

Black Oystercatcher: a large aggregation of (40) on Portland Island on 13 August, perhaps the largest number ever to be reported from the Juneau region (MB).

Upland Sandpiper: (3) on Mendenhall Wetlands on 20-21 August (GV, PS, MS photo).

Sanderling: (1) juvenile at Eagle Beach on early date of 16 and 18 August (MS photo, PS).

Stilt Sandpiper: the first (5) juveniles at Mendenhall Wetlands on 17 August (PS, photo; GV) and the last (1) on 2 September (GV, PS).

Photo by Paul Suchanek

Parasitic Jaeger: (2) light-phased birds over Lynn Canal on 7 August (GV) and (1) there on 11 September (GV), a late record for Juneau.

Bonaparte’s Gull: a late-lingering flock of 200+ at Auke Bay on 24 November (GV).

Ring-billed Gull: (1) immature at Mendenhall Wetlands on 5-6 August (PS), and (1) adult and immature on 20 August (PS), and (1) on 18 September and 5 October (SZ).

California Gull: several peak counts of (60) roosting at Mendenhall Wetlands in August and early September (PS).

Lesser Black-backed Gull: (1) adult at Outer Pt., N. Douglas, on 1 September (MS, PS) and on the Mendenhall Wetlands on 2-5 September (GV, PS, et al.).

Slaty-backed Gull: (1) adult on Eagle Beach on 14 August (PS photo, GV), and (1) adult at Fish Creek, N. Douglas I., on 21 October – 4 November (PS).

Glaucous Gull: (1) adult at Pt. Bridget on 23 August (PS photo, MS) with a first-fall bird at Pt. Bridget on 2 November (PS).

Caspian Tern: (1) adult at Mendenhall Wetlands on 5 August (PS).

Snowy Owl: (1) at Auke Bay in mid-November and subsequently taken to the local raptor rehab center.

Northern Hawk Owl: (1) in flight at dusk crossing over the Mendenhall Wetlands on its way to Eaglecrest Valley (N. Douglas Is.) on 4 October (GV) – a rare sighting for Juneau.

Northern Pygmy Owl: (1) tooting at Pt. Bridget on 13 August (GV); (1) tooting and “singing” at Tee Harbor on 2 October (GV); (1) near Auke Bay in early- November (GB); (1) at N. Douglas on 8 November (PS); (1) at Eagle Beach on 13 November (GV); (1) at Sunny Pt. on 13 November
(PS); (1) at Pt. Bridget on 19 November (PS); and (1) near Amalga on 19 November (MS).

Short-eared Owl: an amazing (10+) at Mendenhall Wetlands in mid-November (m. obs.).

Vaux’s Swift: a flock of (30) at Pt. Bridget on 19 August (MB); other flocks of (65) over Amalga meadows and (16) over Mendenhall Wetlands on 21 August (GV), and, most notably, a spreadout aggregation of at least (200+) flying about the meadows of Pt. Bridget on 23 August (PS, MS) and “at least that many 4 days later” at Eagle Beach on 27 August (MS) – these latter two counts undoubtedly represent new Alaska high counts!  These observations nicely demonstrate the week-long “window” of pre-migratory flocking at the northern terminus of the species’ distributional range: 19-27 August.

Downy Woodpecker (glacialis subspecies): (1) female at Mendenhall Wetlands on 10 September (GV, PP); (1) male at Auke Bay feeder on 6 - 27 November (GV).

Northern Flicker: a remarkable high count of (8) yellow-shafted migrants at Pt. Bridget feeding along the upper beach on 2 September (PS, photo).

Photo by Paul Suchanek

Say’s Phoebe: (1) well above timberline at the top of Eaglecrest Ridge, N. Douglas Is. on 14 August – a unique record for Juneau (GB).

Mountain Bluebird: (1) female at Mendenhall Wetlands on 31 October (PS, photo).

Barn Swallow: a large monospecific flock of (70) at Fish Creek on 17 August (PS), and an even larger flock of (150+) over Mendenhall Wetlands on 20 August (PS, GV).

Golden-crowned Kinglet: adults with still-dependent young at Mendenhall Wetlands on the late date of 3 September (GV).

Townsend’s Solitaire: (1) at timberline on Mt. Roberts on 9 September (PR).

American Pipit: (1) late lingerer at Mendenhall Wetlands on 27 November (MS).

Bohemian Waxwing: (1) near Mendenhall Wetlands on 31 October, a quite early record (GV) – it proved to be the vanguard of a rather early invasion by the end of the first week of November; flocks of (25) near Mendenhall Wetlands (GV), (31) near lower Mendenhall Valley (GV), (97) in downtown Juneau (PR), (15) on Douglas Is. (PR), etc.

Cedar Waxwing: (15) in a flock near Juneau airport on 10 September (GV, PP) were the last to be reported.

Orange-crowned Warbler: (1) late-lingerer at Auke Bay on 1 November (MS).

Yellow-rumped Warbler: (2) late-lingering birds at Mendenhall Wetlands on 19 November (GV).

Palm Warbler: (1) adult at Brotherhood Bridge Trail on the suprisingly early date of 25 August (RG).

Blackpoll Warbler: (1) immature at Brotherhood Bridge trail on 27-28 August (GV, MM, PS) – a rare-ish warbler in Juneau.

Common Yellowthroat: (1) late-lingerer at Mendenhall Wetlands on 1 October (GV).

Wilson’s Warbler: (1) lingering male at Mendenhall Wetlands on 8 October (GV).

Swamp Sparrow: (1) at a N. Douglas Is. feeder on 8 - 30 November (PS, photo; MS, photo; JS, GV, et al.) – only the 4th record for Juneau.

White-throated Sparrow: (1) at an Auke Bay feeder on 3-30 November (GV) – there are now at least 14 records for Juneau.

Brown-headed Cowbird: (2) juveniles at Green Cove, Admiralty Island on 9 August (GB, ED, MB) and (1) juvenile at Pt. Bridget on 16 August (PS, photo.)

Photo by Paul Suchanek

Rusty Blackbird: a flock of (~30) near Mendenhall Wetlands on 31 October (GV).  

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Copyright 2005 Juneau Audubon.
Revised: December 3, 2005.