Kodiak Island is rich in sea life, over 215 species
of birds and 20 species of marine mammals. Please read Alaska
Marine Mammal Viewing Guidelines. There are Federal laws protecting
wildlife that you should be aware of!
Fish and Game Wildlife Notebook Series has more information
on almost all the wildlife listed below.
Kodiak is of course known for its most famous resident
the Kodiak brown bear. About 3,000 bears live within the archipelago
which makes for ideal bear viewing opportunities. Local air services
offer viewing excursions and of course the lodges and camps offer good
chances of seeing this wonderful creature. Please also read Bear
Facts for your own safety!
Other native species around Kodiak include: Little
Brown Bat, Tundra Vole, Short-Tailed Weasel, Red Fox and River Otter.
Introduced Species: Sitka Black-Tailed Deer, Roosevelt Elk, Mountain
Goat, Muskrat, Beaver, Red Squirrel, Snowshoe Hare and Arctic Ground
Species that have not survived on Kodiak include: Moose,
Dall Sheep, Martin, Mink and Raccoon.
Steller sea lions are year-round residents of the island and are often
seen in the harbor. Sea Otters can be seen in sheltered waters near
kelp beds. Harbor Seals can be found in protected inner bays. Dall,
white-sided and harbor porpoise can also be seen around Kodiak waters.
The largest marine mammals found in Kodiak are fin, minke, humpback,
killer, and gray whales. The gray whale is best seen in spring or fall
during their migration, and killer whales or Orcas are common in the
spring and summer months. Be sure and visit the Whale
Fest web site to learn more about these magnificent creatures.
Minus tides (check the tide tables) reveal a host of intertidal creatures.
Anemones, sea stars, sunbursts, chitons and limpets can be found by
beachcombers. Blue mussels are also common, but are not consumable do
to naturally occurring paralytic shellfish poisoning. Look for more
here soon as I start a class on tidepools next week and I should get
some good information to pass on to you! See Alaska Pocket Guide on
Seashore Creatures for more information.
Along the waterfront: Bald Eagles, Black Scoter, Blacklegged
Kittiwakes, Bufflehead, Burrow's Goldeneye, Glaucous-Winged Gulls, Greater
Scaup, Marbled Murrelet, Mew Gull, Northwestern Crow, Oldsquaw Ducks,
Pelagic Cormorant, Pigeon Guillemot, Song Sparrow, White-Winged Scoter.
In town: Bank Swallow, Black-Billed Magpie, Black-Capped Chickadee,
Bufflehead, Fox Sparrow, Golden-Crowned Sparrow, Hermit Thrush, Savannah
Sparrow, Tree Swallow, Tuby-Crowned Kinglet, Varied Thrush, Wilson's
Warbler, Winter Wren, Yellow Warbler.
Mud flats and shallow inlets and ponds: Black Oystercatcher,
Common Merganser, Common Snipe, Dunlin, Greater Yellowlegs, Green-Winged
Teal, Mallard, Pintail, Red-Necked Phalarope, Savannah Sparrow, Semi-Palmated
Plover, Short-billed Dowitcher, Water Pipit, Western Sandpiper.
In the uplands: Aleutian Tern, Arctic Tern, Bald Eagles, Barn
Swallow, Belted Kingfisher, Dipper, harlequin Duck, Pine Siskin, Red-Throated
Loon, Wilson's Warbler.
Also seen are Horned and Tufted Puffins, Emperor Geese, Tundra
Swans, Rock and Willow Ptarmigan, murres and of course many more. See
Alaska Pocket Guide on Alaska birds for more information.
Wild plants, trees, flowers and berries: Sitka
Spruce, Willow, Cottonwood, Alder, Wild Geranium, Shooting Star, Chocolate
Lily, Columbine, Fireweed, Goldenrod, Blueberry, Salmonberry, Highbush
Cranberry, Lowbush Cranberry (Lingonberry), Crowberry (Blackberry),
Rasberry (Cloudberry), Elderberry and many more. See Alaska Pocket Guide
on Alaska's Wild Plants.
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