Musk Oxen Keep Dying at University of Alaska Research Station

Critter News

The death toll for musk oxen at the University of Alaska Fairbanks Large Animal Research Station rose to nine after a school veterinarian euthanized two older bulls that never recovered from a suspected trace mineral deficiency that caused the deaths of seven other animals in September and October. animal research university of alaska musk ox alaskaThis is kind of weird. Maybe nothing's wrong, but a review of the animal care program is being initiated.

Alaska 109

Wolf Killng Begins in Alaska

Critter News

The Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game hopes to kill up to 328 wolves in order to protect caribou calves. The LA Times Greenspace blog has the story.

Alaska 100

What is the State Bird of Alaska?

10,000 Birds

In 1955 – before Alaska was a state – the Territory’s leaders in charge of drafting a constitution allowed schoolchildren to choose what would eventually become the state bird. The Willow Ptarmigan was officially designated in 1960, when Alaska entered the union. There are three species of ptarmigan, all found in Alaska. Though many people joke that the mosquito is the Alaskan state bird, in fact it is the much more pleasant Willow Ptarmigan.

North from Alaska: The Surfbirds return to Mexico

10,000 Birds

It seems like it was just a few weeks ago that I was writing about the Surfbirds, and the long trip to their Alaska breeding grounds. Well, they are back. This last week we took a trip over to the Pacific side of the Baja to see who had arrived back from their summer up north. Given the large amounts of birds that have arrived in the La Paz area, I felt is would be a worth while trip. For the most part, I was quite disappointed. The Surfbirds saved the day.

2017 40

Tales of Wildlife Smuggling

Critter News

Tags: wildlife smuggling alaska

2010 100

Alaska Day: Birds and the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act

10,000 Birds

Alaska Day commemorates Alaska’s formal transfer from Russia to the United States in 1867. It is therefore appropriate for birders to pause and recognize significance of the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA). Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge. In fact, the ten largest National Wildlife Refuges are in Alaska and most were created or supplemented by ANILCA. That said, many areas in Alaska are only lightly birded.

Good News About Blue Whales

Critter News

Looks like blue whales may be coming back to Alaska. From the Associated Press: Blue whales are returning to Alaska in search of food and could be re-establishing an old migration route several decades after they were nearly wiped out by commercial whalers, scientists say. The animals used to cruise from Mexico and Southern California to Alaska, but they had mostly vanished from Alaskan waters. Tags: oceans marine life whales environment alaska endangered species

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Palin Now Going After Endangered Whales

Critter News

For this reason, the state of Alaska contends that additional regulation is unnecessary. The State of Alaska has worked cooperatively with the federal government to protect and conserve beluga whales in Cook Inlet," Palin said last week. Tags: beluga whale Palin alaska endangered species First wolves, then polar bears, now beluga whales. And those are just the endangered animals (remember the turkey being ground up during her tv interview?)

Whales 100

Why Palin?

Critter News

Why has John McCain chosen Sarah Palin, Governor of Alaska, as a running mate? For me, I've been deluged for months by Defenders of Wildlife material about Alaska's heartless treatment of wolves. She's been governor of Alaska for about two years, a world of its own with about half a million people, half of which may be subsistence hunters for all I know. I hope that the scrutiny of Palin will do something about Alaska's unfair and cruel treatment of wolves.

2008 100

Palin Supports Brutal Method of Killing Wolves

Critter News

Tags: Palin alaska wolves

Wolves 100

A Day in Anchorage

10,000 Birds

Birders know why Alaska is known as The Last Frontier. Because when you’ve painstakingly built your life list over the years, visiting the corners of North America for specialties and pushing your ABA list to 600 or so, Alaska almost always remains as the last place a birder can visit where bucket-loads of lifer, the sort of haul you really only get in the early years, are still possible. But until this past month, I’d never been to Alaska.

2014 57

Best Bird of the Weekend (First of September 2021)

10,000 Birds

I spent the last week in Alaska chasing all kinds of excitement but finding fewer birds than I’d hoped. From Creamer’s Field to the University of Alaska campus, these big, gregarious birds bugle their presence proudly as they pass through town.

Ashley Judd Denounces Palin Wolf Killing Policies

Critter News

Here is a good commercial by Ashley Judd for Defenders of Wildlife on aerial wolf killing in Alaska.

Best Bird of the Weekend (Fourth of August 2021)

10,000 Birds

Mike absconded from New York the day I returned and despite missing his connecting flight he is safely in Alaska right now. (At Sadly, it seems that Alaska lacks the internet or phone service, as I have not heard from him about what his Best Bird of the Weekend was.

An Aboriginal Salute to Shearwaters

10,000 Birds

This is a nice short article about the Short-tailed Shearwater and its connection to Australia, Alaska, and the Aboriginal community of Boonwurrung. Asides

German Artist Wants to Kill Puppies to Protest Dog Killings

Critter News

An unidentified German actor has been stopped by Berlin’s administrative court, following his announcement that he planned to strangle two puppies with cable wires on stage to protest against the slaughter of sled dogs in Alaska and hunting dogs in Spain, with their death being accompanied by a funeral march music and loud gong. I had to read this twice before it sunk in. I wonder if he was just threatening to do this for the publicity. Bizarre.

Animal Legal Defense Fund Ranks States on Animal Protection

Critter News

And the worst: Alabama, Alaska, American Samoa, Arkansas, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kentucky, Mississippi, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Northern Mariana Islands, South Dakota, Wyoming You can check out the whole report on their web site. The ALDF has released a report on how different states' animal protection laws stack up. Among the best: California, Illinois, Maine, Michigan, Oregon.

Polar Bear Hunters Face Battle Over Extinction Worries

Critter News

Although few people outside the Arctic realise it, there is still a major legal hunt for the animals in four out of the five states that host the bears: Canada, Greenland, Alaska in the US, and Russia. Native and sport polar bear hunters may be facing more restrictions due to increasing threats to bear populations.

Flights of Passage: a book review

10,000 Birds

Last year there was a spate of books specifically about bird “behavior” – though one might well say that every book about birds, from field guides on up, is about behavior in some way or another. It’s the behavior that makes them fascinating to us.

Aussan Natural Cleaners Giveaway

4 The Love Of Animals

This is open to those in the USA only, with the exceptions of Alaska and Hawaii. Our pets spend most of their lives on the floor. They sleep there, play there, and even eat there. Is it any wonder we should be concerned with the products we use to clean the floors in our home? Not to mention all the other surfaces and places we share with our pets! It has been very important to us to find products that both work well, but that are safe for use around our pets.

2012 207

Sarah Palin Thinks Bush Administration Too Environmentally Friendly

Critter News

That's what Governor Pallin did in order to suck up to oil and gas interests in Alaska. How far off the reservation do you have to be to sue the Bush administration over environmental issues because they are too strict? The state has sued Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne, seeking to reverse his decision to give polar bears protection under the Endangered Species Act.

2008 100

On Bestiality

Animal Person

A reader from Alaska sent the following e-mail, with his name, a nickname and phone number, and this is indeed a serious comment. We did have an incident in Alaska regarding bestiality in Juneau, however the incident was an off lier of typical bestiality. Dear Ma'am, There is nothing wrong with bestiality unless the animal is being bound or forced, in relation to bondage, where the animal can not bite or flee.

2009 103

Surfbirds at Humbolt Bay North Jetty During Godwit Days Bird Festival

10,000 Birds

The Surfbird outside of the breeding season can be found along almost the entire Pacific Coast of the Americas, from southeastern Alaska all the way to Tierra del Fuego in southern Chile. In breeding season, Surfbird is found in mountain ranges scattered throughout Alaska and the Yukon Territory 1. The Godwit Days Spring Migration Bird Festival in Arcata and Eureka on the north coast of California was fabulous!

2013 59

The ABA Area Big Year Record is Tied

10,000 Birds

With a Rustic Bunting in Homer, Alaska, Neil Hayward has tied Sandy Komito’s American Birding Assocation area big year record of 745 (+3) species. That is a lot of birds in what is essentially Alaska, Canada, and the lower 48 states in one year. But whats with the (+3)? That’s where things get kind of fun. In Sandy Komito’s record-setting big year he saw 745 species that were already on the ABA checklist and three that were not yet on the checklist.

2013 73

Bush Earns Some Praise for Ocean Protection

Critter News

When you add the roughly 335,000 square-mile-area in the Pacific that is now protected from virtually all fishing to the nearly 700,000 square miles he closed to bottom trawling, the most destructive kind of fishing gear, this president has given future generations an ocean gift nearly the size of Texas and Alaska combined. This blog pounds on George W. Bush a lot. So, to be fair (and balanced!), here's one person who thinks he's done some good stuff for the oceans.

Sarah Palin's Sellout of a Speechwriter

Critter News

What a complete and utter whore (and no, I'm not talking about the bible thumping wingnut from Alaska). Seems that the guy that wrote Sarah Palin's convention speech was none other then noted conservative and alleged animal rights supporter Matthew Scully. The Palin-Scully pairing is anything but a guaranteed fit, though. Palin is known as an avid hunter; Scully is best known for his vigorous defense of animal rights.

2008 100

The Conspicuous Steller’s Jay

10,000 Birds

They are a non-migratory species found in western coniferous and mixed-coniferous forests, breeding from Alaska, western Canada, and the United States south through western Mexico to Nicaragua. The Steller’s Jay discovered by and named for the naturalist, Georg Wilhelm Steller, who found this Jay on Kayak Island off the southern coast of Alaska in 1741, could just as well have been named “Stellar” don’t you think?

2014 59

“Earth’s Wild Music”: a book review

10,000 Birds

She now lives in Oregon and Alaska.) A fine idea for a nature book is promised by the title and subtitle: Earth’s Wild Music: Celebrating and Defending the Songs of the Natural World. And what an attractive cover it has, filled with blackbirds against a blue and purple sky.

Driving The Denali Highway

10,000 Birds

My wife and I had the chance to visit Alaska! The Alaska wilderness lives up to the visions we had. Alaska was incredible. We are told the scenic beauty of Alaska is only rivaled by that of the Patagonian and Antartic region in extreme South America. This trip was in our bucket list for a long time and did not think it would happen as soon as it did. But an opportunity presented itself and we took it. The wildlife was what we expected.

2015 55

Big Miracle Giveaway

4 The Love Of Animals

About the story: Local newsman Adam Carlson (Krasinski) can’t wait to escape the northern tip of Alaska for a bigger market. Big Miracle is a film inspired by the true story of a small town news reporter (played by John Krasinski) and an animal-loving volunteer (played by Drew Barrymore) who are joined by rival world superpowers to save a family of majestic gray whales trapped by rapidly forming ice in the Arctic Circle.

2012 138

Signs of Spring Migration in Costa Rica

10,000 Birds

All the way to Alaska maybe? Spring in western New York was and is a time of melting snow, of ice chunks being rushed along the Niagara River, of when you wondered if this year, would it maybe stay warm in April and not snow again?

Come On Hollywood

10,000 Birds

Unfortunately, he didn’t check their range maps: Willow Ptarmigans – the state bird of Alaska – are only found in Northern Alaska and Canada, not the tropics. A few weeks ago, I settled down into the couch with my husband to watch a little television before bed. One of my favorite shows is The Big Bang Theory, a quirky sitcom about scientists living in California.

2016 47

Domaines Paul Mas ‘Vignes de Nicole’ Cabernet Sauvignon – Syrah (2018)

10,000 Birds

When I picked up a bottle of this week’s featured wine last March at a shop in southern Quebec (on my last trip out of the United States before the pandemic), I assumed the European heron on the label of the 2018 Domaines Paul Mas ‘Vignes de Nicole’ Cabernet – Syrah blend was a Gray Heron ( Ardea cinerea ).

2018 58

Federal Public Lands: Pacific Seabirds

10,000 Birds

Because these lands include a variety of different habitats and range from Alaska to Puerto Rico and Hawaii to Maine, it is difficult to make generalizations about their impact on birds. Northern Fulmar : Approximately half of the North American breeding population in the Pacific Ocean breed in Alaska, with the remainder in northern Canada. are remote islands that are part of the Alaska Maritime NWR.

2017 50

My Championship Hummingbird Season

10,000 Birds

I may have come all the way from Alaska for these Salvias. Those of us who were raised in the four-season north (here in Michoacán one could define, at the most, three seasons) tend to think of avian migration in terms of seasonal temperatures.

2020 67

Kittiwakes Smell Their Lovers?

10,000 Birds

Apparently Black-legged Kittwakes nesting in Alaska may be using their sense of smell both to help them choose a mate and to identify their mate in the middle of a crowd. Males extruded a different recipe of these compounds than females — “suggesting that scent may be one of the multiple clues used by birds to discriminate between sexes,” the authors wrote.

2011 57

Beak Deformities

10,000 Birds

The Alaska Science Center has been working with chickadees for many years, attempting to solve the problem. They began work in 1999, concentrating on the Black-Capped Chickadees of Alaska. Although the Alaska Science Center concentrates on chickadees, they also study deformity cases in crows, nuthatches, woodpeckers, and jays. John Mark Simmons, the co-founder of Two Birders and Binoculars , has enjoyed birding all his life and has won various birding competitions.

2012 63

The National Wildlife Refuge System: Birders Leading the Way

10,000 Birds

The vast majority of this area (about 85%) is in Alaska. Farallon NWR , a group of islands near San Francisco, hosts the largest colonies of breeding seabirds south of Alaska. For many, the journey ends in Alaska, where NWRs host staggering numbers of breeding birds, including more than 40 million within Alaska Maritime NWR alone. Jason A. Crotty is a birder and lawyer living in Portland, Oregon.

2016 63

Where Are You Birding This Fourth Weekend of July 2016?

10,000 Birds

As the temperatures rise, I like to think about crisp blue glaciers, like the ones I saw ages ago in Alaska. Much of the United States labors under what is being called a heat dome , and that doesn’t even touch on the flames being set off by our political conventions. But then I recall all those wasted opportunities and how I wasn’t even birding back then; the way I feel hardly qualifies as cool. I’ll be enjoying the heat here in Rochester, where temps never get too high.

2016 40

Nat Geo WILD!

4 The Love Of Animals

Trek to Alaska’s Kodiak Island, where Casey gets knee-deep in grizzly life in order to teach Brutus the w and his best friend Brutus, a ays of his wild relatives. Are you excited for the brand new channel from National Geographic? It’s called WILD and launches on Monday, March 29th, with some seriously cool new shows! I will be sharing sneak peeks all weekend. First up, a show called EXPEDITION WILD.

2010 118

Shanghai birds in April

10,000 Birds

The Pacific Golden Plover “is an aristocrat among birds”, according to Gabrielson and Lincoln (1959), The Birds of Alaska (as found on HBW). In April, many birds come to Shanghai, stay for a day or two and decide to move on.

Another Bird From Humboldt Bay North Jetty: The Black Oystercatcher

10,000 Birds

The Black Oystercatcher ( Haematopus bachmani ) can be found along the Pacific Coast of North America from Alaska to Baja California. Click on photos for full sized images. I found these two on the North Jetty at Humboldt Bay foraging and relaxing on the rocky outcroppings.

2013 56

The Mew Gull: AKA the Common Gull of Eurasia

10,000 Birds

If I make it up to the Canadian coast or Alaska I will most likely find a breeding adult to photograph. I spent some time with fellow Audubon members on the Northern California coast last weekend where we were treated with some great views of a first winter Mew Gull ( Larus canus ), commonly known as the Common Gull in Eurasia. Click on photos for full sized images.

2016 60