Alaska Birds Birds of Alaska

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Bald eagle

Bald eagles can weigh up to 14 pounds and attain a height of 3 to 3 1/2 feet. They have a huge wing span of 6–8 feet. Typically, the female of the species is larger that the male and bald eagles living in the north are believed to be larger than ones in the south. They can live up to 30 years in the wild and even longer in captivity.

Alaska Ducks (Anatidae family of birds)

Anatidaes

Duck is the common name for a number of species in the Anatidae family of birds. The ducks are divided between several subfamilies listed in full in the Anatidae article. Ducks are mostly aquatic birds, mostly smaller than their relatives the swans and geese, and may be found in both fresh water and sea water.

Northern Pintail Duck

Most ducks have a wide flat beak adapted for dredging. They exploit a variety of food sources such as grasses, aquatic plants, fish, insects, small amphibians, worms, and small molluscs. Diving ducks and sea ducks forage deep underwater; Dabbling ducks feed on the surface of water or on land. Dabbling ducks have in their beaks special plates called lamellae similar to a whale's baleen. These tiny rows of plates along the inside of the beak let them filter water out of the side of their beaks and keep food inside. To be able to submerge more easily, the diving ducks are heavier than dabbling ducks, and therefore have more difficulty taking off to fly. A few specialized species such as the Smew, Goosander, and the mergansers are adapted to catch large fish.

The males (drakes) of northern species often have extravagant plumage, but that is moulted in summer to give a more female-like appearance, the "eclipse" plumage. Southern resident species typically show less sexual dimorphism. Many species of ducks are temporarily flightless while moulting; they seek out protected habitat with good food supplies during this period. This moult typically precedes migration.

Some duck species, mainly those breeding in the temperate and Arctic Northern Hemisphere, are migratory, but others, particularly in the tropics, are not. Some ducks, particularly in Australia where rainfall is patchy and erratic, are nomadic, seeking out the temporary lakes and pools that form after localised heavy rain.

Some people use "duck" specifically for adult females and "drake" for adult males, for the species described here; others use "hen" and "drake", respectively.

Ducks are sometimes confused with several types of unrelated water birds with similar forms, such as loons or divers, grebes, gallinules, and coots.


Alaska Birds

• American Robin
• American Wigeon
• Arctic Tern
• Belted Kingfisher
• Black Oystercatcher
• Bohemian Waxwings
• Canada Goose
• Canvasback
• Common Snipe
• Eagles
• King Eider
• Ducks
• Great Horned Owl
• Gulls
• Hairy Woodpecker
• Blue Heron
• Kingfisher
• Long-Tailed Duck (Oldsquaw)
• Loons
• Northern Pintail
• Owls
• Ptarmigan
• Puffins
• Ravens
• Red-faced Cormorant
• Red-necked Grebe
• Rufous Hummingbird
• Sandhill Crane
• Sandpiper
• Semipalmated Plover
• Sparrows
• Steller's Jay
• Swans
• Tundra Swan
• Varied Thrush
• Woodpeckers
• Lesser Yellowlegs
• Yellow Warbler