The 2016 Checklist of Alaska Birds

It’s going to be a great year! Get out and enjoy the birds of Alaska with a copy of the authoritative checklist. You can get a copy by clicking at right or here.

As of January 2016 the total number of species known to have occurred in Alaska is now 510. The five added to the Alaska list in 2015 were:Red-footed Booby Sula sula — based on a bird photographed on 10 September 2015 off East Chugach I., Gulf of Alaska; and a sight report of one on 25 August 2015 southeast of the town of Kodiak, Kodiak I. [Accidental in s-c Alaska];

Blyth’s Reed Warbler Acrocephalus dumetorum — based on a bird photographed during 18-21 September 2015 at Gambell, St. Lawrence I. [Accidental in w Alaska];

Yellow-throated Warbler Setophaga dominica — based on a bird photographed during 22-24 September 2015 at Gustavus [Accidental in se Alaska];

Hooded Oriole Icterus cucullatus — based on an adult male photographed during 19-22 September 2015 at Juneau [Accidental in se Alaska]; and

Pallas’s Rosefinch Carpodacus roseus — based on an immature male photographed during 21-24 September 2015 at St. Paul I., Pribilofs [Accidental in sw Alaska].

Other changes to the Checklist of Alaska Birds include changes in status for Cook’s Petrel (Accidental to Casual), Flesh-footed Shearwater (Casual to Rare), Manx Shearwater (Casual to Rare), Brown Booby (Accidental to Casual), European Golden-Plover (Accidental to Casual), Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (Casual to Rare), and Palm Warbler (Casual to Rare). The English name of the family Muscicapidae has been recast to read Old World Flycatchers and Chats. And the 56th Supplement to the AOU Check-list of North American Birds (2015) accepted evidence that the American Tree Sparrow is sufficiently distinct from the other members of the genus Spizella to warrant its own genus, and it is now Spizelloides arborea.

(Thanks to Dan Gibson for this summary!)

5 thoughts on “The 2016 Checklist of Alaska Birds

  1. Bill Whan

    I have been studying old specimens in the Ohio State University Museum. One of them was a common greenshank Tringa nebularia collected in Florida

  2. Bill Whan

    I have been studying old specimens in the Ohio State University Museum, where I found a specimen of a Common Greenshank Tringa nebularia from 1882,collected in Florida. This record was then studied and accepted by the Florida Bird Records Committee. I am interested to know if this is the earliest surviving (I am aware of Audubon’s claim of specimens from Florida earlier, now lost) specimen of this species in North America. I know Alaska collections have specimens of this species, but I wonder if any of them predate this one.
    Many thanks for any information you can provide!

    1. Post author

      Hi, Bill. No, nothing that old here. Our university wasn’t established until about a century ago, and the bird collection was really started in the 1950s. Check with the U.S. National Museum.

  3. Becca

    Hello! I am not seeing the “Contact Us”option for your department…I work at the Fairbanks Children’s Museum and what I am looking for are audio buttons of Interior Alaska summer birdsong (American Robin, Swainson’s Thrush, Junco, Chickadee, etc.).

    I am hoping someone in Ornithology might have advice on how we can create an audio display to encourage local children to identify summer birdsong. Do you keep any publicly accessible files?

    My email is

    Thank you so much for any feedback!

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