It was exciting to return to The Great Land for our spring tours this year. Even though COVID-19 continued to offer challenges in Alaska throughout the season, we had a great visit to St. Paul Island in the Bering Sea and then took a bountiful road trip from Anchorage to Fairbanks and back, enjoying Alaska's famed landscapes and seeing an impressive diversity of special wildlife along the way. At St. Paul Island, we aim to see the breeding specialties of the area and sometimes add on a bonus of Asian migrants. This year we had fabulous luck with both. The seabird cliffs at Reef Point and Ridge Wall were both busy with social seabirds ranging from Red-faced Cormorant and Northern Fulmar to Red-legged and Black-legged kittiwakes. In between the auks delighted us, from the tiny Least Auklets all the way up to the big Tufted Puffins and stout Thick-billed Murres. Among the migrants, we saw a flock of Bramblings, dozens of Bar-tailed Godwits, a longipennis Common Tern, a "Kamchatka" Common Gull, a super cooperative Red-necked Stint, and best of all, a stunning Bristle-thighed Curlew. Additional highlights included Snowy Owl, Yellow-billed Loon, and some close views of Ancient Murrelets. Wow.
Returning to the mainland, we saddled up our horses (vans) and explored the corridor from Anchorage north to Denali. We kicked things off with a close Spruce Grouse in Kincaid Park, then stopped for a cooperative Black-backed Woodpecker at the Sockeye Burn near Willow. The Interior was beautiful with sunny conditions on our visits to the Denali Highway and Denali National Park, though a landslide had caused a road closure that limited our access on the park road. No matter! We found Northern Hawk Owl, American Three-toed Woodpecker, and Grizzly Bears along the Denali Highway, and made a surprise northward extension to Fairbanks where we had close views of a Boreal Owl poking its head out of a nest box (in addition to Bohemian Waxwing, Hammond's Flycatcher, and Townsend's Warbler). On our return trip to Anchorage we looked for a few species we hadn't yet seen (Alder Flycatcher, I'm lookin' at you!) and spent time admiring a fierce Northern Goshawk at a nest.
Thank you for joining Doug and me on this adventure through a part of the world that is very dear to both of us, and for your flexibility and camaraderie along the way.
KEYS FOR THIS LIST
One of the following keys may be shown in brackets for individual species as appropriate: * = heard only, I = introduced, E = endemic, N = nesting, a = austral migrant, b = boreal migrant
SNOW GOOSE (Anser caerulescens)
Two first cycle white morph birds were at Marunich on the northern shore of St. Paul Island.
GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE (Anser albifrons)
We saw a group of six at Creamer's Field in Fairbanks.
CACKLING GOOSE (ALEUTIAN) (Branta hutchinsii leucopareia)
We saw one or more flocks of up to 45 birds a few times at St. Paul Island; this is the typical Cackling Goose taxon seen in migration at the Pribilofs.
CANADA GOOSE (Branta canadensis)
20 "Anchorage Geese" (they're pretty small for Canadas!) at Westchester Lagoon and another 5 at Creamer's Field in Fairbanks.
TRUMPETER SWAN (Cygnus buccinator)
We stopped to see these big swans a few times in roadside ponds on the Anchorage-Denali portion of the route.
TUNDRA SWAN (WHISTLING) (Cygnus columbianus columbianus)
These were on ponds at the King Salmon Airport during our refueling stop there.
NORTHERN SHOVELER (Spatula clypeata)
We saw these "spoonbills" around Anchorage and also on the Denali Highway.
GADWALL (Mareca strepera)
One was at Westchester Lagoon.
EURASIAN WIGEON (Mareca penelope)
We saw four males at Antone Lake on St. Paul Island.
AMERICAN WIGEON (Mareca americana)
Scattered in small numbers at many freshwater locations, including a few singles on St. Paul Island.
MALLARD (Anas platyrhynchos)
Seen at many locations in fresh water ponds and lakes (including a single at St. Paul Island where uncommon).
NORTHERN PINTAIL (Anas acuta)
One of the common dabblers at St. Paul Island; also a few seen on the mainland.
GREEN-WINGED TEAL (EURASIAN) (Anas crecca crecca)
We saw some clean-looking examples of male Eurasian Teal at St. Paul Island as well as intergrades (subspecies hybrids) with American Green-winged Teal. The Bering Sea islands form a contact zone between these subspecies.
GREEN-WINGED TEAL (AMERICAN) (Anas crecca carolinensis)
A few on the mainland, and also a few clean-looking examples among the Eurasian Teal and intergrades on St. Paul Island.
RING-NECKED DUCK (Aythya collaris)
Two were along the Denali Highway.
GREATER SCAUP (Aythya marila)
The common scaup at St. Paul Island; we also saw them in comparison with Lesser Scaup at Anchorage.
LESSER SCAUP (Aythya affinis)
We saw these divers a few times in the Anchorage area.
KING EIDER (Somateria spectabilis)
About 130 were in a tight raft in the distance off Northeast Point at St. Paul Island.
HARLEQUIN DUCK (Histrionicus histrionicus)
We saw flocks of dozens along the rocky coastline at St. Paul Island.
WHITE-WINGED SCOTER (Melanitta deglandi)
A flock of 29 at St. Paul Island appeared to involve only American males among the flock (we scanned these to check for male Stejneger's Scoters, too).
LONG-TAILED DUCK (Clangula hyemalis)
These handsome ducks were seen regularly in small numbers at St. Paul Island.
BUFFLEHEAD (Bucephala albeola)
Just a few - at Anchorage and also in Denali NP.
COMMON GOLDENEYE (Bucephala clangula)
Two females were on Salt Lagoon at St. Paul Island.
BARROW'S GOLDENEYE (Bucephala islandica)
At the start of our journey, we enjoyed a group of 11 of these fine waterfowl on Lake Hood, right next to our Anchorage hotel.
COMMON MERGANSER (Mergus merganser)
We found singles on three occasions between Wasilla and Denali.
WILLOW PTARMIGAN (Lagopus lagopus)
On our bus trip into Denali NP, we saw 9 of these tundra chickens. Fortunately, one was waiting for us at one of the spots where we could exit the bus, so we had some great up-close views.
ROCK PTARMIGAN (Lagopus muta)
Doug went Superman on us and picked out not one, not two, but three (!!!) different Rock Ptarmigan at amazing distances on the Denali Highway and inside Denali National Park. Each time, the birds were whitish males that were sitting out on rocky ridgetops.
SPRUCE GROUSE (Canachites canadensis)
This species is widespread in mainland Alaska, but they can be very difficult to track down "on demand." This year, however, we walked the trails at Kincaid Park in Anchorage and promptly found a male Spruce Grouse displaying in the middle of the trail - hooray! He eventually flew up into a tree and began to eat spruce needles right in front of us.
RED-NECKED GREBE (Podiceps grisegena)
Our best views were of the nest-building birds at Westchester Lagoon. These elegant grebes were building floating platforms of aquatic vegetation.
ROCK PIGEON (Columba livia) [I]
Ours were in the Anchorage-Wasilla corridor, always around people.
SANDHILL CRANE (Antigone canadensis)
Nearly 80 were at Creamer's Field in Fairbanks.
SEMIPALMATED PLOVER (Charadrius semipalmatus)
Small numbers were around breeding territories at St. Paul Island, and we saw another on the Denali Highway.
BRISTLE-THIGHED CURLEW (Numenius tahitiensis)
WOW - mega! The bird that Doug found along the beach at St. Paul Island was truly amazing. This was a stopover migrant on its way back to the Alaskan mainland from the tropical Pacific, and we were very lucky to see it. Great views of the pumpkin-toned rump and tail bars of this globally rare shorebird. We usually look for this species at a breeding area inland from Nome.
WHIMBREL (HUDSONIAN) (Numenius phaeopus hudsonicus)
We saw a couple of these brown-backed American birds during our time on St. Paul Island.
BAR-TAILED GODWIT (Limosa lapponica)
A maximum count of 58. These migrants were feeding in Salt Lagoon on St. Paul Island during our time there. They were probably refueling for the final leg of their journey back to western Alaska for the breeding season.
HUDSONIAN GODWIT (Limosa haemastica)
A couple of god-those-are-really-far-wits were on the flats at the edge of Cook Inlet adjacent to Westchester Lagoon.
RUDDY TURNSTONE (Arenaria interpres morinella)
Small numbers at St. Paul Island.
RED-NECKED STINT (Calidris ruficollis)
A breeding plumage bird was working the wrack line with Western and Rock sandpipers at Marunich on St. Paul Island. This friendly little peep couldn't have offered us a better show. This Asian species is a rare migrant and occasional breeder in Western and Northern Alaska.
ROCK SANDPIPER (PTILOCNEMIS) (Calidris ptilocnemis ptilocnemis)
These pale, island group-endemic Rock Sandpipers were our near-constant companions at St. Paul Island.
LEAST SANDPIPER (Calidris minutilla)
We found small numbers of these familiar, tiny peeps at St. Paul Island.
WESTERN SANDPIPER (Calidris mauri)
One in breeding plumage was with the Red-necked Stint at Marunich on St. Paul Island.
SHORT-BILLED DOWITCHER (Limnodromus griseus)
We saw and heard a breeding plumage bird at St. Paul Island (where notable) and also one at Westchester Lagoon (where expected).
WILSON'S SNIPE (Gallinago delicata)
We found at least three displaying birds along the Denali Highway.
RED-NECKED PHALAROPE (Phalaropus lobatus)
Dozens dotted most of the freshwater ponds and lakes at St. Paul Island; we found another five on the Denali Highway.
SPOTTED SANDPIPER (Actitis macularius)
Singles at Creamer's Field and also at Eagle River.
SOLITARY SANDPIPER (Tringa solitaria)
We had these uncommon tree-nesting sandpipers as flyovers on several occasions and also found one teetering along the edge of a pond on the Denali Highway.
WANDERING TATTLER (Tringa incana)
One of these long distance migrants was on the rocks near Southwest Point on St. Paul Island.
GREATER YELLOWLEGS (Tringa melanoleuca)
One was a high calling flyover at Salt Lagoon on St. Paul Island (where we ruled out Common Greenshank as a possibility).
LESSER YELLOWLEGS (Tringa flavipes)
Small numbers were scattered between Anchorage and Denali.
POMARINE JAEGER (Stercorarius pomarinus)
One with extended spoons on its tail tip flew by when we were at Marunich on St. Paul Island.
PARASITIC JAEGER (Stercorarius parasiticus)
An adult flew past us at Northeast Point on St. Paul Island.
COMMON MURRE (Uria aalge)
Dozens were at Ridge Wall on St. Paul Island with many Thick-billed Murres. It was great to compare these two stout seabirds side-by-side.
THICK-BILLED MURRE (Uria lomvia)
The most common murre at St. Paul Island, where we saw several hundred each day, including close views at Ridge Wall and Reef Point.
PIGEON GUILLEMOT (Cepphus columba)
Regularly seen on the water and flying past at St. Paul Island.
ANCIENT MURRELET (Synthliboramphus antiquus)
Multiple sightings at St. Paul Island (Northeast Point and Marunich) of up to 8 birds. The cooperative ones that flew by at Northeast Point were very close for a from-land sighting!
PARAKEET AUKLET (Aethia psittacula)
Up to 100 seen from the cliff overlooks at St. Paul Island. These were some of the most cooperative alcids we saw up close.
LEAST AUKLET (Aethia pusilla)
We saw hundreds of these tiny auks flying around in buzzy groups and sitting in loafing groups on the rocks and cliffs of St. Paul Island. Up close, they often show a faint pinkish cast to their eyes!
CRESTED AUKLET (Aethia cristatella)
Pow! Pow! Small numbers of these amazing alcids were mixed in with the more numerous seabirds at St. Paul Island. Spectacular to meet these birds face-to-face.
HORNED PUFFIN (Fratercula corniculata)
Dozens at St. Paul Island, mostly as flybys but also some standing at cliff loafing sites.
TUFTED PUFFIN (Fratercula cirrhata)
Bonkers! These big, black puffins are really impressive to see in flight or close on the cliff walls at St. Paul. The blonde tufts are a nice touch.
BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKE (Rissa tridactyla)
Hundreds were setting up shop for the nesting season on the cliffs at St. Paul Island. We also saw them diving around feeding Steller's Sea Lions offshore a few times.
RED-LEGGED KITTIWAKE (Rissa brevirostris)
One of the highlight birds of a trip to St. Paul Island. Good numbers of these Bering Sea specialty gulls were preparing for the nesting season - we had lots of flybys and even got to see pairs mating at cliffside nesting sites.
COMMON GULL (KAMCHATKA) (Larus canus kamtschatschensis)
A first cycle bird at Salt Lagoon on St. Paul Island was very large and stout for a member of the "Mew Gull complex" - quite different from the petite Short-billed Gulls of the Alaskan mainland. This taxon is a rare but regular migrant through the islands of Western Alaska.
SHORT-BILLED GULL (Larus brachyrhynchus)
The common "Mew Gull" of the Alaskan mainland. We got to see a big colony on the island at Westchester Lagoon in Anchorage.
GLAUCOUS-WINGED GULL (Larus glaucescens)
This was the common large gull we encountered at St. Paul Island. We also saw plenty of Herring x Glaucous-winged hybrids along Cook Inlet in the Anchorage area (where most of the large gulls in breeding season are hybrids).
GLAUCOUS GULL (Larus hyperboreus)
An immature with a crisply bicolored bill and immaculate white wingtips flew past us on our first evening at St. Paul Island.
COMMON TERN (LONGIPENNIS) (Sterna hirundo longipennis)
One was flying along the shoreline at Northeast Point on St. Paul Island on our first evening on the island. This black-billed subspecies breeds in Asia and is a rare migrant in western Alaska.
ARCTIC TERN (Sterna paradisaea)
A common breeding species in the Anchorage area wetlands.
COMMON LOON (Gavia immer)
One was diving at close range at Westchester Lagoon.
YELLOW-BILLED LOON (Gavia adamsii)
We saw a mostly breeding plumage bird with a patchy face during our seawatch from Marunich on St. Paul Island. Though it was diving actively and a bit distant, we could all see the pale bill and bulky structure that set this massive loon apart from Common Loon.
NORTHERN FULMAR (Fulmarus glacialis)
Both dark and light morph birds were present along Ridge Wall at St. Paul Island where this tubenose species nests.
RED-FACED CORMORANT (Urile urile)
The common cormorant at St. Paul Island, and a species with a limited distribution in the North Pacific/ Bering Sea. We saw them well both in flight and at rest (and even practiced separating immatures from Pelagic Cormorant at Marunich).
PELAGIC CORMORANT (Urile pelagicus)
We picked out small numbers of these slim cormorants from the more common Red-faced Cormorants along the shoreline at St. Paul Island.
OSPREY (Pandion haliaetus)
One was along the side of the Parks Highway north of Nenana.
GOLDEN EAGLE (Aquila chrysaetos)
A few sightings of soaring birds inside Denali NP.
NORTHERN HARRIER (Circus hudsonius)
At least four birds seen, with two on the Denali Highway and two inside Denali NP.
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (Accipiter striatus)
One of these small Accipiter hawks circled over us on the Denali Highway.
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (Accipiter gentilis)
What a privilege it was to visit a nesting pair in broadleaf forest in the Greater Anchorage area. The extended views of the female were just amazing. This was the final birding stop we made before returning to the Anchorage hotel at the end of the journey.
BALD EAGLE (Haliaeetus leucocephalus)
We saw these big guys several times along the route between Anchorage and Denali.
RED-TAILED HAWK (HARLAN'S) (Buteo jamaicensis harlani)
We found a few of this Alaskan-breeding subspecies with the gray-washed tail soaring between Anchorage and Willow.
SNOWY OWL (Bubo scandiacus)
A lingering bird at St. Paul Island was a nice surprise near Northeast Point.
NORTHERN HAWK OWL (Surnia ulula)
Yip yip! It took quite a bit of scanning, but we eventually spotted one of these highly coveted owls perched atop a bare tree along the Denali Highway. This is usually one of the more difficult species on our tour route.
BOREAL OWL (Aegolius funereus)
A major highlight! An unusual addition to our plan this year was "the Fairbanks extension" which allowed us to visit a fantastic Boreal Owl in a nest box at a friendly birder's home. This is an owl that we rarely have a good chance of finding during our spring Alaska tours.
BELTED KINGFISHER (Megaceryle alcyon)
One was along the Denali Highway.
AMERICAN THREE-TOED WOODPECKER (Picoides dorsalis)
While keeping an eye out for a Moose that was hanging out near our vans, this prized woodpecker made its presence known along the Denali Highway.
BLACK-BACKED WOODPECKER (Picoides arcticus)
We had a great experience in the Sockeye Burn with a drumming male; later while driving on the Parks Highway, another bird flew across in front of our vans.
DOWNY WOODPECKER (Dryobates pubescens)
We bumped into two on our morning of birding around Anchorage before heading to Denali.
HAIRY WOODPECKER (Dryobates villosus)
One showed nicely near the Hammond's Flycatcher at Creamer's Field in Fairbanks.
NORTHERN FLICKER (Colaptes auratus)
One at Fairbanks and another on the Denali Highway.
MERLIN (Falco columbarius)
We saw one of these fine falcons at a distance along the Denali Highway while searching for hawk owls.
OLIVE-SIDED FLYCATCHER (Contopus cooperi)
Two were holding territory in the Sockeye Burn near Willow. "Quick, three beers!"
WESTERN WOOD-PEWEE (Contopus sordidulus)
One sang at Kincaid Park; another was at the Sockeye Burn.
ALDER FLYCATCHER (Empidonax alnorum)
Good views at Byers Lake during our return trip to Anchorage.
HAMMOND'S FLYCATCHER (Empidonax hammondii)
One was on territory at Creamer's Field at Fairbanks. On our tours, we usually don't enter the interior Alaska corner of this tyrant's breeding range.
CANADA JAY (Perisoreus canadensis)
Many sightings of these wonderfully curious corvids during the Anchorage to Denali (and Fairbanks) portion of the tour.
BLACK-BILLED MAGPIE (Pica hudsonia)
Common on the mainland; frequently seen at roadsides while driving.
COMMON RAVEN (Corvus corax)
Widespread on the mainland.
BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEE (Poecile atricapillus)
We saw handfuls of these widespread chickadees on the mainland between Anchorage and Fairbanks, usually in areas with some broadleaf trees mixed in with spruce forest.
BOREAL CHICKADEE (Poecile hudsonicus)
The best views of this retiring chickadee came along the Denali Highway near our American Three-toed Woodpecker sighting.
TREE SWALLOW (Tachycineta bicolor)
A common cavity-nester on the mainland. They outnumbered Violet-green Swallows for us on our route.
VIOLET-GREEN SWALLOW (Tachycineta thalassina)
Several sightings of these dainty swallows with the white saddlebags; best views were near the main buildings at Creamer's Field in Fairbanks.
BANK SWALLOW (Riparia riparia)
One was a migrant at Rocky Lake on St. Paul Island. Whether it represented an American or Asian bird... we'll probably never know!
CLIFF SWALLOW (Petrochelidon pyrrhonota)
Close views of breeding birds at Creamer's Field and along the Denali Highway.
RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET (Corthylio calendula)
This sprite was common in the boreal forest we birded between Anchorage and Fairbanks.
BROWN CREEPER (Certhia americana)
One was in the yard where we saw the Boreal Owl in Fairbanks.
PACIFIC WREN (ALASCENSIS GROUP) (Troglodytes pacificus alascensis)
Great views of this island group endemic subspecies along the clifftops at St. Paul Island. The island birds are sturdily built with long bills.
EUROPEAN STARLING (Sturnus vulgaris) [I]
These introduced songbirds were in the Anchorage-Wasilla corridor.
GRAY-CHEEKED THRUSH (Catharus minimus)
We heard a few singing and calling, and then had special views of this species along the side of the Denali Highway.
SWAINSON'S THRUSH (Catharus ustulatus)
The most common spot-breasted thrush on our Anchorage to Fairbanks route. We encountered this beautiful buff-spectacled songster at many forest locations.
HERMIT THRUSH (Catharus guttatus)
We found a few north of Anchorage on our final afternoon of birding.
AMERICAN ROBIN (Turdus migratorius)
Fairly common around towns and in open forest between Anchorage and Fairbanks.
BOHEMIAN WAXWING (Bombycilla garrulus)
One of the features of our Fairbanks extension! These two were flycatching from dead trees in a swampy section of Creamer's Field in Fairbanks. Though they gather in huge flocks in winter, at this season, they are more likely to be found in pairs or small groups.
BRAMBLING (Fringilla montifringilla)
We saw these colorful Eurasian finches several times around St. Paul Island, with a max count of 8 at the feeders in New Town. This spring saw an unusual eastward displacement across the Bering Sea with many western Alaskan locations reporting flocks of this species.
GRAY-CROWNED ROSY-FINCH (PRIBILOF IS.) (Leucosticte tephrocotis umbrina)
The "House Sparrow of the Pribilofs" - seriously, these big finches are really common around town at St. Paul where they hop around on rooftops and feast on sprinkled birdseed with abandon.
COMMON REDPOLL (Acanthis flammea)
Small numbers in the Denali-Fairbanks stretch of the trip.
WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILL (Loxia leucoptera)
One was a calling flyover while we were waiting for the Boreal Owl near Fairbanks.
LAPLAND LONGSPUR (Calcarius lapponicus)
Quite common on St. Paul Island.
SNOW BUNTING (Plectrophenax nivalis)
We saw up to 20 individuals per day during our travels around St. Paul Island.
AMERICAN TREE SPARROW (Spizelloides arborea)
Good views of this handsome sparrow along the Denali Highway.
FOX SPARROW (RED) (Passerella iliaca zaboria)
We saw these chunky sparrows at many locations north of Anchorage. Their loud, cheery songs rang out from many thickets and groves of trees.
DARK-EYED JUNCO (Junco hyemalis)
Small numbers were sprinkled throughout the Anchorage-Fairbanks area.
WHITE-CROWNED SPARROW (GAMBEL'S) (Zonotrichia leucophrys gambelii)
This was the most common sparrow we encountered on the trip (between Anchorage and Fairbanks).
SAVANNAH SPARROW (Passerculus sandwichensis)
We found these short-tailed sparrows several times in fields and openings in the boreal forest between Anchorage and Fairbanks.
LINCOLN'S SPARROW (Melospiza lincolnii)
Just a few encounters with these shy, bubble-songed sparrows.
NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH (Parkesia noveboracensis)
These chanting warblers sang from many wet spots and treetops in boreal forest during the mainland portion of the tour.
ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER (Leiothlypis celata)
A pleasant triller in forested sections of our mainland route.
YELLOW WARBLER (Setophaga petechia)
Most of our encounters were in the Denali and Fairbanks areas.
BLACKPOLL WARBLER (Setophaga striata)
This sharply appointed warbler sang from boreal forest in the interior, with several good sightings along the Denali Highway.
YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER (MYRTLE) (Setophaga coronata coronata)
Common in forested habitats. Note that these are Myrtle Warblers despite being in "the west." The range of Myrtle Yellow-rumped Warbler extends all the way across the American boreal forest.
TOWNSEND'S WARBLER (Setophaga townsendi)
Great views of this lovely wood-warbler in conifer forest at Fairbanks.
WILSON'S WARBLER (Cardellina pusilla)
Seen frequently in shrubby areas, often near water. A common voice along the Denali Highway.
SNOWSHOE HARE (Lepus americanus)
These were the stout hares we saw along the roadside at Denali NP.
ARCTIC GROUND SQUIRREL (Spermophilus parryii)
A few sightings along the side of the park road at Denali NP.
RED SQUIRREL (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus)
The best sightings were at Fairbanks while we searched for Boreal Owl and Townsend's Warbler.
NORTH AMERICAN PORCUPINE (Erethizon dorsatum)
Two sauntered along the roadside at Denali NP. These northern animals are particularly large with long fur.
ARCTIC FOX (Vulpes lagopus)
These small foxes were seen a few times along the shoreline and in town at St. Paul Island.
BROWN (incl. GRIZZLY) BEAR (Ursus arctos)
Doug found a female and cub enjoying a snow patch on a mountainside above us on the Denali Highway and we enjoyed them through our scopes.
STELLER'S SEA LION (Eumetopias jubatus)
The huge, blonde sea lions that we saw swimming along the shore at St. Paul Island, often with kittiwakes following close behind.
NORTHERN FUR SEAL (Callorhinus ursinus)
Though the large numbers hadn't arrived yet, we still saw plenty of these chunky pinnipeds along the shoreline at St. Paul Island. Much of the human history at St. Paul has revolved around the presence of these animals and the historical commercial harvest.
HARBOR SEAL (Phoca vitulina)
These splotchy "true seals" were seen along the rocky shore at St. Paul Island several times.
MOOSE (Alces alces)
Fairly common on the mainland section of our route, including along the Parks Highway and at Denali NP.
CARIBOU (Rangifer tarandus granti)
These odd, northern deer were on mountainsides and tundra along the Denali Highway and inside Denali NP.
DALL'S SHEEP (Ovis dalli)
These were the white sheep we spotted wayyyyyyy up on the mountainsides at Denali NP.
Totals for the tour: 131 bird taxa and 11 mammal taxa