08 August, 2010

Pigeon Guillemot

Scientific Name: Cepphus columba

Population Estimate: 470K

Range / Habitat: Year-round in Pacific coast of North America, from Alaska down to California.

Field Notes: Medium-sized water bird. All black except for white wing patches and bright red feet. Whistling call.

Personal Notes:

Glaucous-winged Gull

Scientific Name: Larus glaucescens

Population Estimate: 570K

Range / Habitat: Northwest coast of North America

Field Notes: Large gull with light grey mantle and wing tips. Note grey underside of wing extending to tip in the upper photo (distinguishes Glaucous-winged Gull from Glaucous Gull, which has all white wing tips).

Personal Notes:

04 August, 2010

Red-throated Diver

Scientific Name: Gavia stellata

Population Estimate: 200K - 600K, Least Concern status

Range / Habitat: Breeds in low tundra wetlands, bogs, and ponds in forests throughout the circumpolar Arctic. Winters on inshore waters along sheltered coasts, occasionally on inland ponds or lakes throughout northern latitudes.

Field Notes: The smallest of the divers. Light grey in breeding plumage with prominent red throat. Pale grey and white in winter. Small bill often turned upwards. 

Personal Notes: A surprise find in Denali National Park. The bus guide (who was supposed to be looking for bears and moose) spotted this bird. We later found this bird on a nest in Iceland, followed by another sighting near the Valagil waterfall in the West Fjords. Also known as Red-throated Loon.