Final Landing: Arctic Virtual Tour

Kachemak Bay plays a critical role as a stopover or staging site for many birds on their migration journeys. But what lies at the end? For many of these tiny travelers, it is the promise of food resources and safe places to breed and rear their young. Other wildlife refuges in Alaska, like the Yukon Delta National Wildlife Refuge, may even be the final destination for some of the birds passing through Kachemak Bay. Due to the far flung nature of these breeding grounds, people have less of a chance to observe the last leg of the trip.

A Virtual Festival for Arctic Arrivals

Northern Nursery Flickr Photo Gallery:
more bird-tastic photos!

To bring people closer to one of the more remote destinations for migratory birds in Alaska, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and many partners, began to host the Arctic Virtual Bird Festival annually in 2018. This online festival transports participants north of the Brooks Range to the far reaches of Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, the final stop for many shorebird species that utilize all four North American flyways, Although most of the birds that stop over in Kachemak Bay end their journey further west, many of the same species flock to Arctic Refuge. Visit virtually to get an inside peek!

Why migrate to the ends of the earth? “One of the amazing things about these shorebirds is that they’ve timed their arrival and the hatch of their young perfectly to match this explosion of life that happens here in the Arctic, right about the end of June and early July.”

Before they can hatch chicks, shorebirds must find a mate – watch a wildlife biologist demonstrate some of the mating behavior that takes place at the end of migration:

From the backyard to the farthest reaches of the earth, birds connect us…

Take a virtual tour through the mountains to the Arctic Refuge coast, where biologists study migratory birds under a sun that never sets: