Thank you  for everything you do to help the wild places we all love in Alaska. Your Audubon Alaska dollars made a difference in 2016.  As a supporter of Audubon Alaska, your contributions go to work in Alaska for the birds and wildlife you care about. Birds can always use a helping hand, so thank you and best wishes for a happy new year!

Photo by Debbie Sturdivant Jordan

Join Audubon Alaska November 3-11, 2017 for a trip to Cuba and learn about ongoing conservation efforts from local experts as you explore wetlands, mangroves and limestone caves of western Cuba. Visit Guanahacabibes Biosphere Reserve for an in-depth look at marine conservation programs and look for the Bee Hummingbird.  

Experience Cuba's many cultural offerings, including jazz and dance performances, art museums, a walking tour of historical Old Havana and meals in paladares (restaurants run in private homes).  Full time bilingual ornithologist and a logistics guide throughout the program. Support sustainable, conservation-based tourism in Cuba and Audubon Alaska's work in Alaska. 

See  trip details for more information and how to register.

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Teshekpuk Lake is a safe space for wildlife like molting geese and calving caribou. The current NPRA Plan protects Teshekpuk Lake as a designated Special Area. But the announcement of oil discoveries at Smith Bay, plus developing oil projects to the southeast puts this ecological sanctuary between a rock and a hard place. Last week ConocoPhillips announced a new discovery called "Willow" and alluded to the company's interest in exploring off-limits areas like Teshekpuk Lake. 

Audubon Alaska remains committed to protecting special areas using administrative, legislative, and legal tools. But sometimes the most enduring protection comes from people like you simply knowing a place's name and raising your voices in support. So say it out loud: Protect Teshekpuk Lake! Learn more. 
Photo by Milo Burcham
Building an Arctic Atlas
Using maps to tell the story of a place is an inherently difficult task. It first requires a thorough understanding of a  place, and, second, translating that understanding into a shared visual language spanning audiences. Pulling science, data, and maps together to visualize ecological patterns can be daunting. To learn more about how we tackle the hurdles of creating a ecological atlas, click here.
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A Page from the Arctic Atlas: Ocean Currents
Three water masses (the Alaska Coastal Current, the Bering Slope Current, and the Anadyr Current) flow north from the Bering Sea through the Bering Strait, carrying heat and nutrients north from the Pacific Ocean into the Arctic Ocean Basin. Along the way, the low salinity, nutrient-rich waters of the Bering Sea contribute to some of the world's highest marine productivity, especially in the Southern Chukchi Sea. Because of these circulation patterns, the Bering Strait is an important source of zooplankton and particulate organic carbon and is an important migratory corridor for birds and marine mammals .
Upwelling, the process by which bottom water is lifted to the surface, is also associated with high biological productivity. Areas with frequent upwelling events, such as the eastern Beaufort Sea near the community of Tuktoyaktuk and Liverpool Bay, are often important feeding areas for bowhead whales and other marine mammals as well as marine birds .
Christmas Bird Count Highlights

The Christmas Bird Count took place December 14-January 5. Thank you to the many volunteers in Alaska and across the country that celebrated the holiday season by participating in the longest running citizen science project in North America. 

For many people, the annual CBC is a fun way to get out and enjoy a little of what nature has to offer in the winter. Highlights from this year include unusual sightings of Anna's Hummingbird and a Spotted Towhee in Cordova and record low numbers of Emperor Goose,  Mallard, Green-winged Teal, White-winged Scoter, Black Scoter, and Steller's Eider for Unalaska Island.
Farewell Beth

Audubon thanks Beth (Peluso) Grassi for her hard work and dedication for the past seven years as our Communications Manager. Beth used her background in writing, illustration, publishing, and public speaking to promote Audubon Alaska's conservation work. Her communications role allowed her to work with people all throughout the Audubon network, from Alaska chapters to the Pacific Flyway to our New York & DC offices. She is already getting more involved with her local Audubon chapter and will continue to be a voice for conservation in Alaska. We wish her the best of luck!
Name that Bird Photo Quiz

Previous Quiz Bird

This Month's Quiz Bird
The previous quiz bird was Horned Puffin.

This hardy bird calls Alaska home
year-round, toughing out winter temperatures of forty below or colder and then nesting in tree cavities in spring.