Harlequin Duck Drake, Gulkana River, May 2015

Harlies


The Harlequin Duck is easily Alaska’s most colorful waterfowl. Nothing else comes close. Harlequin Ducks – “Harlies,”in birder slang – are sea ducks that move inland to white water rivers and streams to breed. The species’ name come from the comic servant character in the Italian Commedia dell’arte. You can see that it is apt,…

Red-necked Grebe greeting ritual

Red-necks


There’s a Red-necked Grebe nest on a local pond. Assuming the Yahoos leave it alone, WC will track progress of the breeding effort over the summer. Red-necked Grebes are a large, highly pugnacious grebe that takes a variety of aquatic prey with its robust bill. They build a nest of marshy plants, emergent and sub-emergent vegetation.…

Boney Courtship: Present the Prize to a Likely Lady

Boney Goes A’Courting


It’s Spring Migration, and the summer migrants are arriving. They have, really, just one thing on their minds: making more birds. And sometimes the courtship is fun to watch. Two Bonaparte’s Gulls – “Bonies,” in birder jargon –  were working through their courtship on a pond just outside of Fairbanks. A small, delicate gull, with…

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Spring Birding 2015


WC has sadly neglected this years spring migration. A combination of work, illness and the press of other activities has kept WC out of the field. Which is a shame, for a variety of reasons, not the least of them that it’s pretty damn wonderful to watch the birds arrive in numbers after a long,…