VoteBirds can't vote. But you can.
Bald Eagle. Photo: Milo Burcham
Birds can't vote - and rightly so. Birds can't read and don't have the faintest understanding of our political system. Lucky for birds, that's where you come in. Your vote and your voice on the issues facing the birds you love can go a long way to gaining precious victories in the world of conservation. In addition to congressional races, countless state and local elections happening around the country will have a big impact on our communities and our birds.  The best way to protect birds and the places they need is to make sure that you vote on November 6. 

IzembekLawsuit over land exchange in Izembek 
Photo: Kristine Sowl / USFWS
The Izembek National Wildlife Refuge is a critically important place for Pacific Brant that fly to and from the Arctic every year. Izembek lies well south of the Arctic, and its sheltered lagoons are a perfect stop over point for migrating Brant. Last January, Secretary of the Interior, Ryan Zinke, signed off on a land exchange to allow a road through Izembek. A road through those sheltered lagoons would disrupt a densely concentrated and vulnerable bird population. Environmental groups, including Audubon, have challenged the land exchange action in court on several legal grounds. The case is now pending before a federal judge in Anchorage .

SalmonAlaskans to vote on salmon ballot initiative
Brown bear with Salmon. Photo: John Schoen
Alaskans voting in November will find the citizen initiative called "Stand for Salmon" on their ballots. If this measure passes, new state law would update permitting and add accountability for impacts to salmon habitat. Salmon are a vital resource for Alaska, feeding humans, eagles, bears, and the Alaskan economy. Proponents view the measure as important for added oversight on industrial projects including the proposed Pebble Mine in Bristol Bay.

Whether you are a voter in Alaska or another state, learn about local ballot measures that make a conservation difference for fish, wildlife, and birds.

KirchhoffPeople of Audubon Alaska
Matt and Patty Kirchhoff.
It's "goodbye for now" to board member Matt Kirchhoff who will end his fourth tour on the Audubon Alaska Board at our fall board meeting at the end of October. Matt has been a longtime advocate of Alaskan birds and wildlife and is intricately intertwined with Audubon Alaska's history. He originally began as a science advisor in 1979 and was the first Board Chair of the Audubon Alaska board. He was also on staff as the Director of Bird Conservation for a period before rejoining the board where he has since completed two additional consecutive terms.

We thank Matt for his years of hard work in the conservation world and wish him the best in his future endeavors (but hope he doesn't stay away for too long!). 
BirdQuiz'Name that Bird' Photo Quiz
Photo: Darren Clark / Flickr

Photo: John Schoen
Last Month's  Quiz Bird

This Month's Quiz Bird
Last month's quiz bird was a Gray-crowned Rosy-Finch! The Gray-crowned Rosy-Finch is actually divided into six subspecies; the Pribilof and Aleutian forms are quite chunky, weighing approximately twice as much as the smaller subspecies. Because of its remote breeding sites on craggy mountains or remote islands like the Pribilofs in the Bering Sea, few nests have every been found. In the winter, its beak is yellow (as shown in the above photo), but during breeding season, its beak turns black. Outside of breeding season, Gray-crowed Rosy-Finches form large flocks, sometimes with Snow Buntings, Lapland Longspurs, and/or Horned Larks.

This month's quiz bird is takes part of its name from a German zoologist who first collected the species. In North America, it is known to nest almost entirely within Alaska, particularly in glaciated areas from Glacier Bay to the Alaska Peninsula. It is the only seabird that nests primarily on the ground at or near the top of mountains - particularly next to glaciers where its plumage acts as the perfect camouflage to blend into the landscape. Often found in pairs sitting low on the water near shore, these chunky, football-shaped birds forage extensively for invertebrates and small fishes near the turbid outflow of glaciers.    
BaldEagle2.0Alaska Bald Eagle Festival
Photo: John Schoen
November 5-10, 2018
Come celebrate one of the largest gathering of Bald Eagles in the world! Daily busses and/or vans will carry you safely to the Alaska Bald Eagle Preserve to witness the annual "Gathering of the Eagles." At this time of year, over 3,000 eagles can be found in the Preserve feeding on a late run of salmon.  You can choose to attend photography workshops, wildlife presentations, tours, classes, and live raptor presentations. The Festival includes evening entertainment to round out your festival experience. For more information, call (907) 766-3094 or visit the website.
CBCChristmas Bird Count for Kids at Alaska Zoo
Common Redpolls. Photo: John Schoen
December 8, 2018 from 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Anchorage Zoo
Kids ages 6 and over are invited to come explore the outdoors with experienced birders and discover how local birds tough out the Alaska winter. Only a small number of birding spots are available so please contact Stephanie Hartman at the Alaska Zoo at (907) 341-6463 to make your reservations today! The fee is $3 per person.
ABCAlaska Bird Conference
Barn Swallow nestlings. Photo: Milo Burcham
March 4-8, 2019
The Alaska Bird Conference is a biannual conference that brings researchers, managers, and bird lovers of all ages to report on aspects of bird biology, management, and conservation in Alaska. This year's conference is being held in Fairbanks at the Westmark Hotel & Conference Center. Audubon Alaska will share and present a number of their current projects.  For more information, email the conference , call the Alaska Songbird Institute at (907) 888-2121 or visit the website .

If you're a student, Audubon Alaska administers the Tom Fondell Memorial Scholarship Fund. It is a student travel fund established in honor of Tom, an Alaska wildlife biologist who was known for promoting the professional development of young biologists. Click here for more information, or click the button below to contribute to the Tom Fondell Memorial Scholarship Fund.