Vote for Audubon Alaska's 2018 Bird of the Year!
Photos by Bugadora, Milo Burcham, and Dominic Sherony
Did you know that 24 shorebird species nest in Bristol Bay? And tens of millions of seabirds forage there? An incredible array of birds, from Steller's Eiders to Sooty Shearwaters to Marbled Godwits, all rely on this astounding marine ecosystem. In honor of this ecologically vital place, Birds of Bristol Bay is the theme of this year's Bird of the Year contest!  vote

The candidates are:  Aleutian Tern, Emperor Goose, and Pacific Golden-Plover. Cast your vote by Thursday, January 18th. The winning bird will serve as Audubon Alaska's main spokesbird throughout the year, and it will also be featured on our 2018 stickers and hats. 
King Eider. Photo by Mick Thompson.
Globally significant ecological areas in the Western Arctic's National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska are currently protected, but the Trump administration continues to indicate that they may try to roll back these protections.teshekpuk

In light of these actions, Audubon Alaska recently released a report that outlines the immense and fragile wildlife values found in the Western Arctic, particularly in the Teshekpuk Lake wetlands complex. Learn more and download the report.
Packrafts in the Arctic. Photo by Kim Mincer / BLM
There are a lot of whopper lies coming out of the current administration about our public lands but perhaps the biggest one was faithfully recited by US Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke in a  recent interview with the Anchorage Daily News"Special interests now, in many cases, are those that want to keep you off the land - that want to make it wilderness and wilderness only and restrict the American public from using the land," he said.

The fact is that almost all public lands in Alaska, including land in the 1002 Area of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, land in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska, and land in the Izembek National Wildlife Refuge - areas Secretary Zinke implied were somehow not open to the public - are open for us to use. 

The Trump administration recently proposed a plan that would open more than a billion acres in the Arctic, Pacific, Atlantic, and Gulf of Mexico to oil and gas drilling. The plan included  all of the waters off Alaska's coast except the North Aleutian Basin.  This unprecedented and wide-reaching plan threatens critical bird habitat as well as the economic viability of hundreds of coastal communities. Learn more. ocean
Brant. Photo by Milo Burcham
News broke this past weekend that the  US Department of the Interior  has has agreed to (but not yet signed) a land transfer with the King Cove Corporation. This agreement will lead to the building of a road through federally designated wilderness and internationally recognized bird habitat in the Izembek National Wildlife Refuge.
This is devastating news for the wildlife that rely on Izembek's intact habita t. We expect more details about this agreement to drop later in January. 

With your help, we'll elect our 2018 Bird of the Year soon - that means new stickers and new hats! We still have some of our 2017 Bird of the Year Horned Puffin hats available, but they're going fast. Order yours today! hats
'Name that Bird' Photo Quiz quiz
Photo by John Schoen

Photo by John Schoen
Last Month's  Quiz Bird

This Month's Quiz Bird
Last month's quiz bird was the White-crowned Sparrow!

This month's quiz bird is a small diver found on northern marshes in summer and coastal bays in winter. This bird must patter across the surface of the water to become airborne, so it sometimes gets trapped when waters freeze overnight.
Monday, February 5th, 7:00 pm
Noel Wien Library Auditorium, Fairbanks
Join Nils Warnock, Ph.D., Executive Director of Audubon Alaska, for a talk on the state of Alaska's birds. In 2017, Audubon Alaska released a new Alaska WatchList, a report that ranks regularly occurring bird species in Alaska based on vulnerability. An unprecedented number of species made it onto the 2017 Red List, the list with the highest level of conservation concern. 

Nils will review which species are most at risk, explore the factors contributing to declines in Alaska bird populations, look at success stories, quiz you on your Alaska bird knowledge, and explain what can be done to conserve vulnerable species.