Juneau Audubon Society

P.O. Box 21725

Juneau, AK 99802-1725

Summer Bird Nesting Season Observations

Juneau, Alaska



This report on migratory birds and other birds of note observed in Juneau during the 2004 nesting season was prepared by Steve Zimmerman.



(Revised August 30, 2004)

The breeding season extends from June 1 through July 31.

Note to readers: All known sightings of birds that are occasional, or rarer than occasional, on the Juneau checklist for the summer season have been noted here. All sightings of birds that are very rare or accidental for the summer season are in bold type.


BA = Bev Agler

GB = Gwen Baluss

SB = Sarah Brooks;

MB = Matt Brooks

MBr = Melanie Brown

LC = Laurie Craig

AD = Al Demartini

ND = Nat Drumheller

RG = Richard Gordon

JH = Judy Hauck

DM = Deanna MacPhail

JM = Joe McCabe

DP = David Porter

DR = Deborah Rudis

MS = Mark Schwan

PS = Paul Suchanek

KT = Kim Turley

KTi = Kim Titus

GV = Gus van Vliet

SZ = Steve Zimmerman

Western Grebe. One at Eagle Beach on July 4 (GV) -- a rare summer record for Juneau.

Brant. One at Point Bridget State Park on June 8 (PS).

Gadwall. Three were seen on the Gazebo Pond on June 17 (MB).

Cinnamon Teal. One male at Mendenhall Wetlands June 28 and July 3 (the one on July 3 was banded) (PS).

Redhead. Two males in a pond in Mendenhall Valley on June 23 (GV) and June 29 (PS) – a rare breeding season record.

Red-tailed hawk. A begging juvenile and an attending adult were photographed on July 22 near the Treadwell Trail on Douglas Island above Bonnie Brae subdivision (PS). This is a very rare breeding record for this species in the Juneau area. Another bird was heard calling near Wickersham Avenue throughout the month of July which might indicate another possible breeding record (BA).

Peregrine Falcon. An injured bird was picked up in Auke Bay by the Juneau Raptor Center on July 5. A single bird was seen on Spasski Island (Icy Strait) on July 10 (KT). An adult on Mendenhall Wetlands on July 31 (PS).

Parasitic Jaeger – An occasional light-phase bird was sighted – 1 on June 20 near Lincoln Island (PS) and 1 on July 21 near Pt. Bridget (PS)

White-tailed Ptarmigan. A female with chicks on the ridge of Mt. Juneau at 4500 ft. on July 12 (MB, photos) – the first breeding record for Juneau.

Sabine’s Gull. One adult on June 22 near Vanderbilt Reef, Lynn Canal (AD), a rare summer record.

Ring-billed Gull. One was seen at the high tide roost of gulls on the wetlands on July 17, and on July19 at the mouth of the Gastineau Channel on the Fish Creek side (PS).

Caspian Tern. Two at the mouth of the Mendenhall River on June 15 (SZ). Four were present there on July 6 (MB) with 2 as late as July 17 (PS). One was also seen downtown on July 6 (MB), another at Eagle Beach on July 11 (GV), and two at Auke Bay on July 20 (GV).

Kittlitz’s Murrelet. At least 20(!) near Eldred Rock, upper Lynn Canal on 1 July (MB) – associated with the turbid discharge of the Katzehin River.

Mourning Dove. One was seen at Juneau Community Gardens (Montana Creek) on June 12 (KTi, GV).

Western Screech Owl – At least 2 fledged at Fish Creek on Douglas Island again this year (GB, MB, PS) – a rare breeding record.

Northern Pygmy Owl. One was seen near the Amalga Marsh, along the trail to the Eagle Glacier, on July 4 (MB).

Vaux’s Swift. One in flight over Skagway on July 30 (GV) – one of the northernmost breeding season records for Alaska.

Common Nighthawk. One was seen in West Juneau on June 27th during a lightning storm (MB). Another was seen on that night at Student Housing on UAS campus near Auke Lake (DP).

Northern Flicker. A yellow-shafted bird was seen along Montana Creek on June 5 (SZ, RG).

Downy Woodpecker. One was seen at Fish Creek on July 6 (MB).

Three-toed Woodpecker. One was seen at Bayview (North Douglas) on July 1 (JH, SZ), and one was seen near the Montana Creek shooting range on July 9 (GB) and July 14 (MB).

Olive-sided Flycatcher. One was seen along the trail to the Amalga Marsh on June 12 (GV). Another was seen along the Dan Moller Trail on July 3 (MB).

Western Wood-Pewee. Four were seen at Amalga Marsh on July 2 (MB), one was seen at Sandy Beach on June 11 (PS, SZ, BA), and one was at Juneau Community Gardens June 13-17 (PS).

Hammond's Flycatcher. One calling on June 20 on Mendenhall Glacier Forelands (GV) -- a rare breeding season record for Juneau.

Yellow-Bellied Flycatcher. Although this species has possibly been heard on previous occasions in Juneau (even as recently as June 10 at Sandy Beach—PS), the first ever multiple-observer sighting of this species in the Juneau area occurred on June 30 just past the 26-mile marker on Glacier Highway. First heard calling on June 29 (RG), the bird was relocated and clearly seen the next day (MB, PS, RG, SZ). It was heard repeatedly making the chu-wee call and it was also occasionally heard singing the che-bunk song. The bird continued to be seen through at least July 4 (GV).

Cassin’s Vireo. A singing male was seen at the Mendenhall Glacier banding site on June 4 (GB), another was seen and heard on Douglas Is. on June 6 (SM, MB), and another was seen at the community gardens (Montana Creek), Mendenhall Valley on June 12 (GB, GH), June 13 (GV) and June 15 (PS).

Cliff Swallow. Juneau's first true colony of nine active nests was located in a small barn near the Mendenhall Wetlands on June 16 (GV) -- perhaps the largest colony for Southeast Alaska.

Northern Rough-winged Swallow. One was seen flying over Douglas Island near the Dan Moller trailhead on July 31 (MB).

Red-breasted Nuthatch. One was seen in the Upper Mendenhall Valley on June 2 (DR) and another was heard calling on July 12 on the Mendenhall Forelands (GB).

Cedar Waxwing. This summer's signal event was the unprecedented widespread occurrence of Cedar Waxwings in the Juneau area.

Although nesting has not been previously confirmed for this species in Juneau, observations of recently fledged birds by GV in 2003 indicated that it was probably occurring. Nesting was likely occurring in Juneau again in 2004. On June 15, two birds were observed near Norton Lake and one was carrying possible nesting material (PS). A nest under construction was observed in a spruce tree at Point Bridget on June 19 (PS).

Other sightings of this species were wide ranging including:

1 on June 5 at timberline on Mount Roberts (SB).

7 on June 7 on Douglas Is. (MB) and 2 on July 3 and 3 on July 21.

7 on June 8 at Pt. Bridget (PS).

2 on June 12 at Amalga Marsh (AD, m. obs.) and July 4 (MB).

2 or more birds calling on the Mendenhall Forelands on June 12 (GB)

3 on June 15 mid-Mendenhall Valley (GV).

2 on June 17 at Mendenhall Wetlands (GV).

12 on June 18 at Mendenhall Glacier Forelands (GV), probably a record high-count for the Juneau region.

~12 feeding on salmonberries on June 20 at Lemon Creek (MBr).

2 showing nest-site selection behavior on June 20 at Mendenhall Glacier Forelands (GV).

5 on June 20 over lower Mendenhall Valley (GV).

7 on June 23-24 at Mendenhall Glacier Forelands (MB).

2 on June 24 at Lemon Creek (GV).

1 on June 24 at Montana Creek (GV).

2 or more birds calling on the Mendenhall Forelands on July 25 (GB).

2 on June 28 at mid-Mendenhall Valley (GV).

2 on July 1 on Douglas Is. (MB).

2 on July 3 at 26 Mile (GV).

2 on July 7 at Auke Bay (GV).

4 on July 14 along the airport dike trail (BA).

2 on July 22 in lower Mendenhall Valley (DR).

2 on July 23 along the airport dike trail (BA)

4 on July 25 at Mendenhall Wetlands (GV).

1 on July 30 at Skagway (GV).

Nesting, with a bird on the nest, was also reported from Gustavus on July 7 (ND).

Tennessee Warbler. There were numerous reports of this species in Juneau this summer—an unprecedented influx. First noted at Mendenhall Glacier Forelands on June 5 (MS, GV, m. obs) , and a second individual on June 6 (MS, GV), with subsequent reports from the same area June 7-8 (BA), June 14 (PS), and June 24 (DR). Other reports were a single bird in the Upper Mendenhall Valley (Wren Drive area) on July 1 and 2 and at least two there on July 9 (GB, ED), one at 26 mile on July 3 (GV), two singing males in the Amalga Marsh area on July 4 (MB), one singing male at Fish Creek wooden bridge on July 11 (MB) and two birds near the Montana Creek rifle range on July 9 (GB, ED) with three there on July 14 (MB).

American Redstart. The first report of this species was of an immature male on June 7 in the Dredge Lakes area (BA). Numbers of this species seemed very low overall in comparison with recent years.

Northern Waterthrush. There were few reports of Northern Waterthrush from Juneau this year, although three were heard singing in the Loon Lake area on June 23 (MB). One was caught by a bird banding group on the Mendenhall Forelands on July 2 (GB), and one was heard singing there on July 12 (GB).

Black-headed Grosbeak. A male bird was first reported on June 13 (ED, GB) from the Mendenhall Forelands, and was subsequently photographed on June 17 (DM). After the photograph was posted on the internet (LC) reported that she had seen the bird three weeks before near the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor’s Center but had not been able to identify it.

Brown-headed Cowbird. One was seen at the Fairweather Stables (Crazy Horse Drive—near the Mendenhall Wetlands) on June 10 (JM).

Chipping Sparrow. Two families with fledged young at Skagway on July 30 (GV).


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Copyright 2005 Juneau Audubon Society.
Revised: August 30, 2004.