kodiak wildlife kodiak wildlife

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Wildlife

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!

The 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 Squirrel.

Species that have not survived on Kodiak include: Moose, Dall Sheep, Martin, Mink and Raccoon.

Marine Mammals
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.

Tidepools
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.

Bird Watching
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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