Donna Dewhurst


Surrounded by wilderness, Anchorage offers a world of opportunity for Alaska bird-watching in an ecological setting.

The skies of Alaska are filled with birds. Forests echo with their calls and song. And shores resound with species nesting for summer near the rich Alaska waters. Nearly 500 species of birds have been identified in Alaska – enough action for even the most discriminating birder.

Eagles and ravens are present year-round, and have deep ties to Alaska Native lore. More than a dozen nesting pairs of bald eagles call Anchorage home; sharp-eyed visitors can spot them soaring over the city in search of salmon or other prey. Curious, talkative, and even mischievous, ravens are often seen in pairs coasting playfully in air currents or in groups congregating in the city.

But that's merely the beginning of bird life here. Millions of birds flock to Anchorage as part of annual migrations. Puffins, kittiwakes, and other seabirds crowd the rocky cliffs of Prince William Sound and Resurrection Bay. They are often spotted from the deck of glacier and wildlife cruises. Anchorage lakes and lagoons are a popular stopover for swans, pintails, canvasbacks, and Arctic terns, among others.

Guaranteed Bird Views

Look an eagle in the eye and come face-to-face with other raptors at Bird Treatment and Learning Center, an avian rehabilitation clinic and education organization. Bird TLC provides wild bird programs, presentations, and public release events. The Alaska Zoo and Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center also house eagles, owls, and other birds that have been rescued from injury.

Bird-watching Locations in Anchorage

Keep an ear and an eye out, and you'll spot birds everywhere in Anchorage, and there a few special locations for birders.

  • Potter Marsh (Anchorage Coastal Wildlife Refuge)
  • Chugach State Park
  • Eagle River Nature Center

More information on Alaska bird watching is available from the Anchorage Audubon Society.

Potter Marsh

A muskrat paddles across pond filled with geese. An arctic tern dips and dives, in acrobatic flight that would make a fighter pilot jealous. At the tree line, a moose dips its hooves at the shore...