Birds of Denali - Summer
Summer in interior Alaska is short and busy. This is when visitors to Denali can expect to see the most number of species and also most of the international migrants that breed in Denali. Summer visitors to Denali can take advantage of "round-the-clock" birding. Sunrise and sunset are barely distinguishable at the peak of the breeding season in June and birds are active nearly every hour of the day. The subarctic symphony of Denali's songbirds can wake even the soundest sleeper at sunrise at 3:00 am.
Denali's birds spend the summer in overdrive. With only a few precious months to find a mate, build a nest, breed, lay eggs, raise young, and prepare for fall migration, busy is a word that seems to understate the task at hand.
For Denali's birds and their offspring, summer brings both opportunity and hardship. With the perils of winter and/or a long spring migration behind them, adults face new challenges amidst the bounty of summer. For some, survival depends upon the ability to outwit predators. For others, success means a single-minded commitment to find, catch, and kill food.
Denali National Park and Preserve is by and large a summer home for most of its bird population. Warm summer winds host an avian species explosion of almost 600 percent as roughly 25 year-round residents share Denali with over 140 migrants.
Last updated: April 14, 2015