Every year millions of birds from several continents migrate to and from the Northern half of Alaska.The Elliott and Dalton highways more or less parallel major flyways as they meander north from Fairbanks to their destiny at Deadhorse on the shores of Prudhoe Bay. Slicing through the middle of northern Alaska, disecting a variety of ecosystems, each home to several species of birds.
Depending on the time of year, cranes, geese and other fowl take breaks and fuel up at Creamer’s Field in Fairbanks before continuing/to continue their migration.
Bohemian Waxwings and Varied Thrushes call the forested hills along/on either side of the Yukon River home during the summer months. Flocks of Northern Wheatears and Lapland Longspurs like to flitter about on the rocky alpine hills around the Arctic Circle. Northern Harriers hunt the south slopes of the Brooks Range. Golden Eagles oversee the Gates of the Arctic National Park from great heights while cutting their circles. In the treeless Arctic, north of Atigun Pass, bordering the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, on tussocks and mounds snowy owls look out for rodents like lemmings and voles. The haunting call of loons is an eerie sound as the fog burns off the coastal plain and phalaropes spin their circles on polygone ponds. In Deadhorse, almost at the shores of the Beaufort Sea, Eiders might be spotted in puddles amongst the industrial bustle surrounding Lake Coleen.
Feeders here in our yard are frequently visited by pine grosbeaks, junkos and redpolls. Often robins and flycatchers nist under the eaves of our cabins. Camp robbers, gray jays, hunt around for whatever they might find and just up the creek, in the canyon, ravens and peregrine falcons raise their young. In this pristine, mostly untouched neck of the woods the quiet stillness of the wild can be deafening. It is nice to hear the birds sing!