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, 2003 was prepared by Steve Zimmerman.



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


BA = Bev Agler

LB = Liz Blecker

LC = Laurie Craig

AD = Al DeMartini

CE = Craig Ely

RG = Rich Gordon

MH = Mary Clair Harris

MK = Mary Lou King

DM = Deanna MacPhail

MM = Mary McCafferty

DR = Deb Rudis

JS = Jeff Sauer

MS = Mark Schwan

AS = Andy Smoker

PS = Paul Suchanek

GVV = Gus VanVliet

BW = Brenda Wright

SZ = Steve Zimmerman


Weather note: Strong easterly winds during the month of October may have led to an invasion of interior birds including an apparent female septentrionalis Hairy Woodpecker, a male nelsoni Downy Woodpecker, several Black-capped Chickadees, and two apparent alascensis Brown Creepers (GV).

Greater white-fronted goose – Six were seen at Eagle Beach September 6 – 9 (MS, PS, RG, BA) One had a blue collar (L75). It was likely a tule Greater White-fronted Goose that was fitted with at vhf transmitter on the Innoko NWR in July, 2003 (CE).

Canvasback. A drake was on Twin Lakes October 12 – 14 (BA, SZ)

Redhead. A male was seen on Moose Lake on September 15 – 16 (PS). Two females were reported on Twin Lakes on October 25 (MB). A male was seen there from November 6 – 16. (SZ, GV, BA).

Hooded Merganser. One or two pairs were seen on Twin Lakes from mid-October through freezeup in mid-November (m.obs.). Five females were on the Mendenhall Wetlands on November 6 (SZ). Photo by Steve Zimmerman

American Coot. First reported from Twin Lakes on September 19 (one bird), one to three coots were seen on Twin Lakes from then through freezeup in mid-November (m.obs.). Another sighting was made at the police station pond on October 7 (MK).

Raptor sightings: on September 14, GV sighted 61 raptors (not including Bald Eagles) in the area between Tee Harbor and the end of the road. These included 3 Osprey, 10 Buteo sp. (at least one adult dark-phased and one adult light-phasedRed-tailed Hawks), 12 Kestrels, 12 Sharp-shinned Hawks, 20 Northern Harriers, 1 Peregrine and 3 Merlin.

Osprey. Three were seen between Tee Harbor and the end of the road on September 14 (GV). Single birds were seen on the Mendenhall Wetlands on September 14 and October 8 (LC) and another was seen at Cropley Lake on September 19 (AS). A single bird was seen near the mouth of Eagle River on October 12, and two were seen flying over the Mendenhall Wetlands on October 13 (SZ).

Peregrine Falcon. A single bird was seen near Fish Creek on September 12 (PS, SZ).

American Golden Plover. One was seen at Eagle Beach on September 17 (PS). A juvenile was seen on the Mendenhall Wetlands (dike) on weekend of August 9 (AD, GV).

Semipalmated Plover. An unusually large flock of 43 birds was seen at Eagle Beach on the weekend of August 9 (GV).

Solitary Sandpiper. Three were seen along the Mendenhall Wetlands (dike) on weekend of August 9 (GV).

Baird’s Sandpiper. Six were seen at Eagle Beach on August 31 (MS).

Stilt Sandpiper. First juvenile was seen on the Mendenhall Wetlands (dike) on August 8 (PS). Two more were seen there that weekend of August 9 (GV).

Pomarine Jaeger. Jaegers are seldom seen in the Juneau area. On August 12, five were seen from the seawatch overlook mile prior to the Blue Mussel Cabin at Point Bridget. Not all were identifiable, but at least one was a light phase Pomarine Jaeger being chased by two light phase Parasitic Jaegers (PS).

Glaucous Gull. A juvenile was seen at Eagle Beach on September 22 (PS).

Barred Owl. One was seen in the early evening near Tee Harbor on October 23 (BW).

Northern Pygmy Owl. Sightings of single birds were made at mileposts 10, 12, 25, 33, 36, 39 and in Auke Bay (GV) and on North Douglas Island (SZ) during the last two weeks in October. Three were reported from Point Couverden on October 25 (Matt).

Northern Hawk Owl. One was seen near the Point Bridget Trailhead On October 1 (GV).

Vaux’s Swift. A flock of approximately 125 birds was seen on 9/12 at Fish Creek (PS).

Hairy Woodpecker. An apparent female septentrionalis Hairy Woodpecker was seen at a Juneau highlands feeder for approximately three weeks in October (GV).

Downy Woodpecker. A male nelsoni Downy Woodpecker was seen 39 Mile near the Cowee Creek bridge on October 26 (GV).

Three-toed Woodpecker. One was seen at Point Bridget on October 5 (DM, m.obs).

Olive-sided Flycatcher. Four were seen at Point Bridget on weekend of August 10/11 (GV).

Hammond’s Flycatcher. A late Empidonax flycatcher, likely a Hammond’s, was seen at Fish Creek on September 16 (PS).

Black-capped Chickadee. A report of a single bird from Point Bridget on October 5 (LB, DM, BA, MH, SZ), was followed by several additional sightings of this species in Juneau including one at 33 mile on October 17 (GV), three along Perseverance Trail on October 23 (MB), one at a feeder in town on October 27 (MM), and two out the road and four near downtown during the week of October 20 – 24 (GV).

Red-breasted Nuthatch. One was seen at Point Bridget on weekend of August 10/11 (GV).

Brown Creeper. Two Brown Creepers, which appeared to be of the Interior alascensis subspecies, were seen at 39 mile on October 26 (GV).

Red-throated Pipit. Two were seen on September 6 and 7 on the grasslands near the Boy Scout camp at Eagle Beach (GV, m.obs.). One of the birds was seen through at least September 20 (MS).

Cedar Waxwing. On September 9, several juvenile Cedar Waxwings were observed calling (begging?) along Radcliffe Road. On September 10, at least six juvenile birds with 2 adults were seen there. Breeding has not previously been documented for this species which is rare in Juneau (GV).

Bohemian Waxwing. Small flocks were reported at several locations in Juneau including near the Juneau Job Center in the Valley on November 19 (BA), near Capitol School November 20-21 (JS), and by Rotary Park on November 26 (DR).

Red-winged Blackbirds. At least four immature birds were still being seen in the pond by the Pioneer’s Home on October 14 (SZ).

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Copyright 2003 Juneau Audubon.
Revised: December 27, 2003.