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It was quiet at home one evening when I heard deep hoots outside, even through the closed windows. I paused to listen to the distinctive rhythm: "Who's awake? Me too!" It was a Great-horned Owl calling to his sweetheart. Owls start courting this time of year, so keep your ears open for that special treat on these decreasing winter nights. There are a number of ways to show your love of birds in February, from donating to Audubon Alaska to participating in the Great Backyard Bird Count over Valentine's Day weekend. See more ways to help birds in this issue of the eNews.

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Marbled Murrelet
Photo by Milo Burcham
In the coastal rainforest of southeastern Alaska, where Marbled Murrelets nest on the giant branches of 800-year old trees and Queen Charlotte Goshawks dart through the forest across salmon-rich streams, destructive old-growth clearcutting is still being allowed in the ancient forest.

Tell the Forest Service it's time to end old-growth clearcutting on the Tongass.

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This February, show your love of birds by making a donation to Audubon Alaska . Give a Valentine's Day gift that shows your love for Alaska's birds. Make a donation to Audubon Alaska in honor of your special someone, friends, family, pets, or your favorite backyard birds.
Every dollar donated directly to Audubon Alaska goes to work in Alaska - so your gift is greatly appreciated! Spread your love for bird conservation this month. The birds of Alaska THANK YOU!

Tundra Swan
Photo by Dick Daniels
Creative Commons
The 2016 Great American Arctic Birding Challenge starts March 1! Birds from six continents rely on America's Arctic in Alaska for nesting, breeding, staging, and molting; their ranges reach across the Lower 48 states and beyond. Birders from around the U.S. can test their skills this spring to find the most birds in their state from the contest checklist of Arctic birds.
The contest runs from March 1 through June 1. So find a warbler expert, your friend with the top-of-the-line scope, or someone with supersonic hearing to identify those sparrow calls...or head out with your reguĀ­lar birding buddies. Is your team ready?

Today kicks off the Great Backyard Bird Count. Join in the fun of this 4-day citizen science project sponsored by the National Audubon Society and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. It's simple: pick your favorite birding spot, whether it's a feeder in your backyard or a park near where you live. Count birds for a minimum of 15 minutes on one of the count days, or for as long and as many of the count days as you like. Then enter your sightings online. If you have an eBird account or have previously participated in a Cornell Lab of Ornithology project, you're already set. Do you enjoy taking photos? Check out the rules for the photo contest as well. For more information or to set up an account, visit . Happy counting!

Audubon Alaska welcomes Susan Culliney as our new Policy Associate. Susan grew up in Hawaii, where she developed a love for the native birds that inhabited the misty upland rainforests and for close encounters with the non-native but enigmatic Shama Thrush in her backyard.

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Photo by Milo Burcham
Last Month's Quiz Bird
The quiz bird from last month was the Red Phalarope.
This Month's Quiz Bird
Nearly 9,000 of this month's quiz bird rely on the Stephen's Passage global Important Bird Area in Southeast Alaska.
TongassThe Tongass National Forest is home to birds and other wildlife that depend on old-growth trees. Even after decades of large-scale old-growth logging, the Tongass contains some of the largest stretches of old-growth temperate rainforest left in the world. Yet, as the logging practice continues, it threatens wildlife and birds such as the Queen Charlotte Goshawk and the declining Alexander Archipelago wolf.

SusanbioAfter gaining a BA from Bowdoin College, Susan spent several memorable years as a field biologist: trapping migratory raptors, mist-netting landbirds, and hooting for owls. She then earned an MS in conservation biology from Colorado State University, studying the seed dispersal abilities of the endangered Hawaiian Crow. Realizing that her interests involved combining science and policy for the benefit of wildlife conservation, she obtained a JD from Lewis and Clark Law School, with a focus in environmental law.
Susan arrived in Alaska expecting to spend a year working for a judge in Anchorage before returning to the Lower 48. But she was quickly captivated by this great state's spectacular wildlife and complex environmental challenges. She now feels like a Kolea, or Pacific Golden-Plover: at home snowshoeing and trekking in Alaska, but also making trips back to Hawaii to spend quality time with family and the waves at Waimanalo beach. Outside of the office, Susan can be found exploring local trails on skis or ice-cleats in the winter, and hiking near bodies of water in the summer. Her plans for the future include learning to fish, visiting the Arctic, and meeting more of Alaska's people and birds.

For almost 40 years Audubon Alaska has worked to conserve Alaska's natural ecosystems, focusing on birds, wildlife, and the habitat crucial to them. Audubon Alaska is financially independent, raising all our own funding. This means your support is critical to protecting the birds and wildlife you care about.Thank you for supporting Audubon Alaska!

Happy Birding!

Beth Peluso, Communications Manager
Audubon Alaska

Audubon Alaska
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