Birds of Southeast Alaska

Last night Melissa helped me go through my copy of the Guide to the Birds of Alaska to look for birds that occur in Southeast. I was somewhat surprised to find that there were in the neighborhood of 300 species that have been seen in Southeast. Many of these are only casual (which I believe means that they have only been seen a couple of times), but even taking that into account, there were probably 200 or more. Of the remaining, a significant number appear to be seen primarily (or only) during the spring and fall migrations. Even so, there were more species than I expected that seemed to spend a fair amount of time in the region. Perhaps one reason for this is that Baranof Island (or the area around Sitka in particular) is does not have a paritcularly diverse collection of bird species. It will be interesting to see what kinds of birds I observe in the coming months and years. At this point, I suspect I will not see more than about 60-70 species spending more than a day or two around town. Perhaps this number would go up somewhat if I include birds seen when boating within a few miles of town.

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