Anchorage offers excellent birding opportunities, especially during spring and fall migration periods. Local wetlands and water bodies provide a major stop for species winging to and from nesting sites across the whole Arctic. The city’s coast—running from Ship Creek around Point Woronzof to immense flats and Potter Marsh—is especially productive.
“This narrow strip of valuable habitat along Cook Inlet supports some of the greatest numbers and diversity of birds in the Anchorage area,” says Audubon Alaska in an introduction to its coastal checklist. “Bird enthusiasts have recorded approximately 220 species, of which about 160 occur annually either as migrants or breeders.”
A few of the most exotic migrants, like Arctic terns and trumpeter swans, spend the summer locally. But you will also see plenty of rare visitors, plus breeding geese, ducks, swans, gulls and shorebirds. And then there are the year-round residents—ravens, bald eagles, magpies, chickadees, and redpolls—all tough, shrewd and supremely adapted to survive local winters.