Juneau Audubon Society

P.O. Box 21725

Juneau, AK 99802-1725

Fall Bird Migration Observations

Juneau, Alaska



This report on migratory birds and other birds of note observed in Juneau during Fall, 2002 was prepared by Steve Zimmerman.



The Fall migration period extends from August 1 through November 30.


BA = Bev Agler

DC = Don Cornelius

KC = Karen Cornelius

LC = Laurie Craig

BD = Bruce Dinneford

LD = Larry DePute

BH = Brad Hunter

EK = Ed Kiessel

LL = Laurie Lamm

IM = Ian MacIntosh

MM = Mary McCafferty

DM = Deanna MacPhail

JS = Jeff Sauer

MS = Mark Schwan

PS = Paul Suchanek

GVV = Gus VanVliet

SZ = Steve Zimmerman

Aleutian Canada Goose. One seen November 23 on Auke Lake, perhaps only the 2nd record for SE Alaska (GVV).

Gadwall. Five were seen at the mouth of Fish Creek on November 8 (SZ).

Shoveller. Four late lingerers were on Auke Lake on November 24 (GVV).

Hooded Merganser. A female with three half-grown ducklings was seen on Norton Lake on August 2 (DM). Small numbers were seen on Twin Lakes starting on September 17 (2 females--SZ) and extending throughout the fall period. The largest number reported was five (3 females, 2 males) on October 28 (SZ).

Ruddy Duck. Two female/immature birds were seen on Auke bay on October 24 (GVV). A single female/immature was seen on Twin Lakes on October 27 (JS) and October 28 (SZ).

There was a good diversity of duck species seen on Twin Lakes this fall. In addition to several Mallards, Greater and Lesser Scaup, and Wigeon, small numbers of Ring-necked Ducks and Common Mergansers, at least five Canvasbacks, a Redhead, and the above mentioned HOME and RUDU were all seen there during the fall migration period.

Osprey. A single bird was seen at the end of the airport runway on September 11 (LC) and another single was seen at Auke Bay on September 21 (GVV).

Steller’s Sea Eagle. Although not seen on a regular basis, Juneau’s Steller’s Sea Eagle was seen in the Taku River area on at least three occasions this summer/fall. The last report was from just below Canyon Island on September 21 (EK: fide LD).

Rough-legged Hawk. A dark phase bird was seen near Radcliffe Road parking area on September 21 (BA)

Peregrine Falcon. Two were seen near the Alaska State Museum on September 24 (GVV).

American Coot. Coots were seen continuously on Twin Lakes, and in the marsh by the Pioneers Home, from September 22 (MS, SZ), through the end of the fall reporting period. An immature bird was seen occasionally in the company of an adult bird during the mid-September period. The maximum number of coots reported was 8 on November 19 (GVV).

Sandhill Crane. Unusually high numbers of birds were seen in the Juneau area in mid-September. Sixteen birds were seen flying over Tee Harbor on September 17 (BA). On September 18 approximately 250 birds were seen standing along the Mendenhall River (m.obs.). On September 19, more than 700 were seen at about the 2,000 foot level, flying past the tramway at 11:25 in the morning (GVV).

Greater Yellowlegs. Two immatures were seen on November 3--a very late date for Alaska—on the Mendenhall Wetlands (GVV).

Lesser Yellowlegs. Following the high numbers of adults reported in early July, this species continued with very high numbers with 300+ on August 1 (GVV) and approximately 200 on August 5 (BA).

Solitary Sandpiper. Two were seen in the Dredge Lakes area on August 2 (DM), and two were seen at Fish Creek on August 11 (PS).

Baird’s Sandpiper. Two birds were seen on August 10 and 3 (BA).

Sharp-tailed Sandpiper. A juvenile was seen at Salmon Creek on September 5 (PS). Another bird, possibly the same one, was also seen on the Mendenhall Wetlands on the same day (BA).

Upland Sandpiper. A single bird was seen on August 15 - 25 on the Mendenhall Wetlands (PS, GVV, BA), and two were seen there on August 31 (GVV).

Long-billed Dowitcher. An unusually large number (90) were seen during September 16 – 28 on the Mendenhall Wetlands (GVV).

Stilt Sandpiper. The first sighting was of a single bird on the Mendenhall Wetlands on August 13 (PS), and small numbers were observed for several days thereafter, through September 5 (BA). The maximum number seen was 10 on August 19 (GVV) and 22 (PS).

Wilson’s Phalarope. A juvenile was seen at Eagle Beach on August 2 (PS, SZ; pictures by PS).

Bonaparte’s Gull. 600 were seen on November 11 at mile 33—this is a late date for this species—tight flocks were fluttering over a large surface prey patch in humpback whale waters (GVV).

Ring-billed Gull. Single birds were seen in Bayview Subdivision (Douglas Island) on August 13 (SZ), and near the Juneau-Douglas Bridge on August 25 (PS). Two birds were seen near the mouth of Fish Creek on September 7 (PS).

California Gull. A very late, second year winter bird was seen on November 11 on the Mendenhall Wetlands (GVV).

Glaucous Gull. An immature bird was seen at Salmon Creek on August 6 (PS; photo), and at Eagle Beach on November 9 (GVV).

Slaty-backed Gull. One was found at the mouth of Salmon Creek on August 8 (IM), August 10 (GVV), and again on August 15 (PS).

Lesser Black-backed Gull. An adult bird was seen on August 18 (IM), and on August 22 and 29 (PS) on the Mendenhall Wetlands.

Barred Owl. First identified by GVV on August 19, a single bird was seen hunting in the early evenings through August 24, between mile 15.2 and 16.0 along Glacier Highway. On August 25 it appeared to be acting oddly, and was seen sitting on the ground for a long period of time (BA). Photos were taken by PS.

Northern Pygmy Owl. One was seen and heard at Point Bridget on September 29 (GVV). Another single bird was heard on October 3 and seen on November 12 and 29 at Auke Bay (GVV).

Common Nighthawk. A single bird was seen on August 29 on the Mendenhall Wetlands (GVV).

Anna’s Hummingbird. A single male was seen at a feeder in Auke Bay from October 10 through the end of the count period (GVV).

Three-toed Woodpecker. A single bird was seen near the Herbert Glacier Trailhead on September 29 (LL).

Bank Swallow. One bird was seen on September 15 in the company of two Barn Swallows at Mile 25 (GVV). This is a late date for both of these species.

Pacific-slope Flycatcher. Three recent fledglings were seen on September 14 at Point Bridget. They were giving incessant begging/contact calls –an example of late-breeding activity by this species in the Juneau area (GVV).

Red-breasted Nuthatch. A small and quick, but widespread movement occurred during September 28 – 29, with single birds seen in the Mendenhall Valley and at Auke Bay, Eagle Beach and Point Bridget (GVV).

Cedar Waxwing. Five were seen in a flock over downtown Juneau on August 23, and one was seen on the Mendenhall Wetlands on August 25 (GVV).

Bohemian Waxwing. A single bird was seen on November 19 in downtown Juneau (GVV).

Yellow-rumped Warbler. A late "Myrtle-type" bird was seen on November 18 in downtown Juneau (GVV).

American Redstart. A late adult male was seen at Dredge Lakes on September 3 (PS).

Spotted Towhee. A single bird was seen at a feeder in Bonnie Brae Subdivision (Douglas Island) from November 11 (BD) through the end of the count period (BA, m.obs.). This is likely the 5th sighting of this bird in Alaska (records compiled by GVV).

Chipping Sparrow. A juvenile was seen at Point Bridget on September 2 (PS), and another was seen at Dredge Lakes on September 3 (PS).

Fox Sparrow. A late bird, with a very red tail, was seen at a residence from November 8 through the end of the count period (DM).

Rose-breasted Grosbeak. A young male /adult male in basic plumage, was seen feeding on bird seed at a home in the Juneau Highlands from October 5 – 9 (MM, m. obs, photos by MM). This is likely the 5th or 6th record for this species in Alaska (records compiled by GVV).

Black-headed Grosbeak. A female was observed coming to a feeder in Petersburg from September 28 – 30 (DC, KC, video by BH). This is likely the 14th sighting of this bird in Alaska (records compiled by GVV). Another female bird was later reported coming to a feeder in Sitka beginning about November 6. Marge Ward should be sending a report on this bird

Common Redpoll. Twenty were seen in a flock on November 10 at 33 mile (GVV).

Red Crossbill. Small flocks of Red Crossbills were seen regularly, with singing territorial males, at several locations in Juneau over virtually the entire fall reporting period. On September 29 recently fledged birds were seen at Point Bridget, and a family group with 3 juveniles was seen on October 26 at Auke Bay (GVV). Very few White-winged Crossbills were reported during this period.

Pine Siskin. This species became common and widespread during the last half of November with a flock of over 400 birds seen on November 28 at Mile 33 (GVV).

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Copyright 2002 Juneau Audubon.
Revised: December 17, 2002.