Juneau Audubon Society

P.O. Box 21725

Juneau, AK 99802-1725

Spring Bird Migration Observations

Juneau, Alaska



This report on migratory birds and other birds of note observed in Juneau during Spring, 2006 was prepared by Gus van Vliet.



The Spring migration period extends from March 1 through May 31.


BA = Bev Agler

RA = Robert Armstrong

ND = Nat Drumheller

RG = Rich Gordon

MK = Matt Kirchhoff

DM = Deanna MacPhail

RM = Rob McKnight

PR = Patty Rose

DR = Deborah Rudis

JS = Jeff Sauer

MS = Mark Schwan

PS = Paul Suchanek

GV = Gus van Vliet



LaNina-like conditions in Juneau this Spring: very cool, quite moist, much overcast, and
substantially delayed migration/phenology for most passerines

Trumpeter Swan: (4) immatures on the late date of 28 May at Mendenhall Wetlands (MS, GV,JS, MK).

Cackling Goose: (1) on the late date of 28 May on Mendenhall Wetlands (GV, MS, JS, MK).

Cinnamon Teal: (1) male on 21 May at Point Bridget State Park (PS photo, BA, DM), and 1hybrid CITE X BWTE male on 18 May at Mendenhall Wetlands (PS photo).

Green-winged (Common) Teal: (1) male on 25 April at Eagle Beach and (1) male on 5 May at Mendenhall Wetlands (PS).

Wood Duck: (1) in the Mendenhall Valley on 10 March – 27 April (RM, m.obs).

King Eider: (1) female at Pt. Bridget on 16 – 19 May (PS photo, ND, MB, MS).

Double-crested Cormorant: (3) on 6 May (MS, MB), and (3) on 25 May near Benjamin Island (PS).

Swainson’s Hawk: (1) dark-phase adult at Pt. Bridget on 25 May (PS photo).

Gyrfalcon: (1) light-gray bird on N. Douglas Is. during March to mid-April (m. obs).

White-tailed Ptarmigan: (4) near the Mendenhall Glacier on 13 March (PS photo).

Virginia Rail: (1) presumed over-winterer in the lower Mendenhall Valley on 14 – 16 March (RA, m.obs.) – the bird subsequently perished due to the cold (UAM specimen); (1) migrant calling on 22 May in an upper Mendenhall Valley marsh (PS photo, ND photo).

Sora: (1) on 22 May in a Lemon Creek marsh (DR, et al.); an amazing (3) on 28 May at Windfall Lake (DR).

American Coot: (1) at Twin Lakes on 6-7 May (PS, GV).

Pacific Golden Plover: (14) at Mendenhall Wetlands on 5-6 May (GV, ND) – perhaps the highest count ever for Juneau.

Marbled Godwit: (4) at Mendenhall Wetlands on 25 April (PS). Single birds observed in various locations through 8 May.

Upland Sandpiper: (2) on 11 May at Point Bridget State Park (PS)

Red Knot: (1) late lingerer at Eagle Beach (GV, MS, JS, MK) and another (1) at Mendenhall Wetlands (PS, RG), both on 28 May. A few other earlier May observations of this species occurred as well.

Jaeger sp.: (7) presumed parasitics flying up Lynn Canal near 23 Mile on 28 May: 6 dark phased birds in a single flock followed by a single light-phased individual (GV, MS, JS, MK). Probably the largest number of jaegers ever seen in the Juneau region.

Western X Glaucous-winged Gull hybrid: (1) subadult at Pt. Bridget on 21 May (PS photo).

Lesser Black-backed Gull: (1) adult seen at a gull-roost at the mouth of the Mendenhall River and at the Mendenhall Glacier gull colony on 24 April (PS) through 28 May (GV, MS, JS, MK) – presumably this is the same individual that has occurred in Juneau since 1993.

California Gull: (1) on 18 May at Mendenhall Wetlands (PS).

Iceland Gull: (1) nominate 2nd year bird at Pt. Bridget on 21 May (PS photo). Also, (1) Kumlien’s 2nd year bird at Pt. Bridget on 14 May (RG, PS).

Caspian Tern: earliest individual (1) on 28 April on Mendenhall Wetlands (PS), then (1 - 2) through 23 May (GV, PS).

Kittlitz’s Murrelet: (2) in winter-plumage on 6 May near South Shelter Island (RG, MB, et al.).

Northern Pygmy Owl: (7) different individuals heard tooting in 7 separate locations north of Auke Bay on the weekend of 25-27 March (GV). Heard (2) as late as 25 May at Pt. Bridget (PS).

Cliff Swallow: the small colony in a horse stable found last year near the Mendenhall Wetlands was again occuppied this spring – 6 active nests. Perhaps the only colony in SE Alaska?

Say’s Phoebe: (1) at Point Bridget on 19 May (MS, PS, MB) and (1) on 25 May at Mendenhall Glacier (MS).

Mountain Bluebird: (2) males at Mendenhall Wetlands on 15-16 April (PR, GV), (1) male on 11 May (PS) and 19 May at Pt. Bridget (PS, MS, MB).

European Starling: no(!) reports this Spring – has the species become functionallly extinct in Juneau?

Blackpoll Warbler: (4) observed in a single day (28 May) – 2 on the Mendenhall Glacier Forelands, and 2 at Brotherhood Bridge Trail (GV, MS, JS, MK) – probably the largest single-day count ever for Juneau.

Swamp Sparrow: (1) at Pt. Bridget on 16 May (PS photo).

White-throated Sparrow: (1) overwintered at Auke Bay and was last seen in full body-molt on 7 April (GV).

Brown-headed Cowbird: (1) female at a horse stable near the Mendenhall Wetlands on 28 May (GV, JS, MS, MK).

White-winged Crossbill: (1) recently fledged juvenile at Auke Bay on 25 March (GV).


Note to readers: Sightings of birds that are very rare or accidental are in bold type.


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Copyright 2006 Juneau Audubon.
Revised: August 31, 2006.