Anchorage – Alaska, USA


Typically Anchorage, Alaska wouldn’t be a top of mind destination when you are searching for a bird photography destination, but it may surprise you. Located in the south-central part of the state on the Cook Inlet, the largest city in Alaska, is known as a window to nature and birding hotspots. The area is especially active during the spring and fall migration periods.

According to Audubon Anchorage, there are roughly 220 species of birds that migrate annually through Anchorage, and 60 of those call the Alaskan coast home. Exotic species such as the Arctic Tern and Trumpeter Swan spend the summer locally. Ravens, eagles, chickadees and redpolls are found in Anchorage year-round since they are adapted to tougher climates.

Popular birds such as Bald Eagles can be spotted flying over Anchorage in search of salmon or other nourishment. Puffins can also be seen during migration season. Popular destinations to spot these birds are Potter Marsh (Anchorage Coastal Wildlife Refuge), Chugach State Park and Eagle River Nature Center. These areas are important to the conservation efforts of these species of birds.

To encourage more birders in Alaska, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game has put together the “Wings Over Alaska” program. Participants earn certificates based on the birds they observe. With four levels of certification, each is based on identifying 50,125, 200 and 275 species in the state. Over time around 475 species have been identified in Alaska. The highest-ranked certificate is signed by the Governor.

Owen traveled to Anchorage in June 2021 with Mike Parr of American Bird Conservancy.

Birds found here