TeshekpukHelp us protect the Teshekpuk Lake wetlands
Brant at Teshekpuk Lake. Photo: Nathan Graff
There are only a handful of places in all of North America that are as important for birds as the wetlands around Teshekpuk Lake. It is a safe haven for molting geese like Brant and Greater White-fronted Geese, and the geese aren't alone. Many other species nest, molt, or rest near Teshekpuk Lake. This includes Spectacled Eiders, Red-throated Loons, and Buff-breasted Sandpipers.

This globally significant habitat in Alaska's Western Arctic is now being targeted for oil and gas development. H elp us s ave this important wetlands area. 

Tell the Bureau of Land Management to o ppose increased oil and gas development in the Teshekpuk Lake Special Area of the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska. 

CBCChristmas Bird Count has begun!  
Black-capped Chickadee. Photo: John Schoen
Audubon's 119th Christmas Bird Count is going on now. It began last Friday, December 14, and will continue through Saturday, January 5, 2019. Local counts occur on one designated day between those dates. Counts have been scheduled all across the continent. Each participant must make arrangements in advance to be involved, but anyone can participate. 

You never know what you'll see during Christmas Bird Count or what you won't see, for that matter. Melanie Smith, program director, migratory bird atlas at National Audubon Society, participated in a bird count on Saturday in Anchorage and was surprised by how few birds she saw. "Even though the total species and abundance were above average for our count circle, my party counted only 13 individual birds in almost three hours," said Melanie. "Birding can be very mysterious, but that is what makes it fun." 

(You can join as many counts as you want!)
ANWRArctic National Wildlife Refuge 58th anniversary
Caribou. Photo: Jim Dau
This month we celebrate the 58th anniversary of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Established in 1960, it is the largest national wildlife refuge in the country. 

The Arctic Refuge is a beautiful place, teeming with life. I t provides important nesting habitat for vast numbers of birds, including Tundra Swans and Snowy Owls. It is the calving area for the Porcupine Caribou Herd. It is the most important onshore denning habitat for polar bears in the United States. The Refuge has great significance for people too. Outdoor enthusiasts recreate here, plus this area  is an essential subsistence resource for indigenous people in Alaska.

Audubon Alaska will continue  to fight to keep the Arctic Refuge free from oil and gas development. Your support helps ensure this amazing place stays safe for the birds, wildlife, and people who visit and call it home. 

newyearnewsecNew year, new Secretary of the Interior  
Over the weekend, Ryan Zinke announced that he will resign as Secretary of the Interior at the end of the year. The Trump Administration must now decide who to appoint as the next head of the Department of Interior. At Audubon Alaska, we believe the new Secretary should be someone who will:
  • Ensure the continued protection of all public lands, including national wildlife refuges, national monuments, and national parks
  • Recognize the impacts climate change and proactively work to ensure those impacts are addressed 
  • Honor cultural heritage when making decisions about land protection and development 

Support Audubon Alaska's advocacy efforts.  

Calendar2019 Alaska Migratory Bird Calendars out now! 
The Alaska Migratory Bird Calendar features prize-winning art and literature of school children across Alaska. The poetry and poster contests cultivate pride and learning about the migratory birds that are a part of traditional lives, diets, and cultures in rural Alaska. The 2019 calendars are now available!

The calendar is free of charge, but we welcome a donation to offset shipping costs. 

 Email Kassandra or call (907) 276-7034 to request a copy today! 
Photo: Matthew Studebaker /studebakerbirds/Flickr
November 'Name that Bird' quiz results

Last month's quiz bird was a Parasitic Jaeger!  Known as the Arctic Skua in Europe, the Parasitic Jaeger is one of three jaeger species (the other two are the Long-tailed Jaeger and Pomarine Jaeger) in the skua family.
AMSSAlaska Marine Science Symposium
Poster Presentations at the AMSS. Photo: NOAA
January 28 - February 1, 2019
The Alaska Marine Science Symposium is the premier marine science conference, bringing together scientists, educators, resource managers, students, and interested public to discuss the latest marine research being conducted in Alaskan waters. Research topics covered range from seabirds, marine mammals, fishes and invertebrates,  ocean physics, to local traditional knowledge. Our own Conservation Biologist Max Goldman will be presenting on the Assessment of Ecological Value and Vulnerability in the Bering, Chukchi, and Beaufort Seas project. 

ABCAlaska Bird Conference
March 4-8, 2019
Westmark Hotel,  Fairbanks
The Alaska Bird Conference is a biennual conference that brings together researchers, managers, and bird lovers. Audubon Alaska will present a number of their current projects.  For more information,  visit the website .

Audubon Alaska administers the Tom Fondell Memorial Scholarship Fund , a student travel fund established in honor of Tom, an Alaska wildlife biologist who was known for promoting the professional development of young biologists. 

HappyholidayThe team at Audubon Alaska wishes you a 
happy, healthy, and birdy holiday season!
Dark-eyed Junco. Photo: Michele Black
The Audubon Alaska office will be closed December 24 - January 1. Our staff will use the time over the holidays to rest and recharge. We hope you will too. 

You won't see a newsletter in January, but it will be back in February. In the meantime, you can  check our website and follow us on social media for the latest news and updates. 

Let's all get outside and go birding!