A wide variety of birds pass through Sitka National Historical Park due to the diversity of nearby habitats, including alpine, rainforest, riverine and coastal ecosystems. The park's intertidal and shoreline areas support a variety of migratory waterfowl and shore birds during spring and fall. Sea birds such as common murres, scoters, harlequin ducks, scaup, buffleheads, and long-tailed ducks commonly use the park waters, particularly in winter.
Many passerine birds use the park for breeding, a wintering ground, or a migratory stopover including pine siskins, savanna sparrows, varied, hermit, and Swainson's thrushes, robins, Townsend's warblers, ruby-crowned and golden-crowned kinglets, kingfishers, dippers, and winter wrens.
Resident birds including common mergansers, mallards, spotted sandpipers, and great blue herons use the estuary, river, and tidal flats for foraging and protection. Gulls, crows, and ravens scavenge along the tidal flats and the river. Bald eagles are common in the general area, especially during the spring herring spawn and fall salmon runs, when eagles feed on fish carcasses in the river and adjacent tidal flats. At least one bald eagle nest is present in the park.
Threatened or Endangered Species
Peregrine falcons have recently been delisted but are still species of concern. The Peale's (Pacific) peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus pealei) lives and breeds in the area, and the Arctic peregrine falcon may pass through the area as a transient, primarily during seasonal migration.
Did You Know?
Pink salmon mature in two years which means that odd-year and even-year populations are essentially unrelated. More...