Ivvavik National Park
American Golden Plover
The American Golden Plover makes one of the longest migrations of any shorebird; summering in the Arctic and wintering in central and southern South America. Observe these birds on open ground and mudflats.
American Robins usually arrive in the western Arctic in May and stay until August. Female American Robins choose the nest location and take around two to six days to complete it.
American Tree Sparrow
Despite their name, you’re more likely to spot American Tree Sparrows on the ground, or in shrubs, than in trees. If an American Tree Sparrow doesn’t eat enough in a day, they can lose up to a fifth of their body weight.
The Arctic Tern completes the longest migration of any bird species; travelling from Antarctica to the Arctic to breed annually. Arctic Terns can be incredibly defensive of their nests, swooping at potential predators who come too close.
Observe Bald Eagles soaring in solitude over the tundra in the Arctic summer, or in large convocations in the south during the winter. In the first 3-4 years of their lives, Bald Eagles live nomadically and travel long distances throughout vast terrain.
The Bonaparte's Gull is the only gull species that regularly nests in trees. Identify mature Bonaparte’s Gulls by their black head during the summer and their white head with a small gray smudge during the winter.
A hardy little bird, the Boreal Chickadee is found year-round in the western Arctic. Identify Boreal Chickadees by their simple clear trill with a short introductory note.
Watch for these geese flying in a well-defined V formation. The most widespread goose, look for them close to ponds, lakes and marshes in the western Arctic.
Identify Common Redpolls by their sharp, buzzy call notes and energetic trills and chatters. Though they usually spend winters in southern Canada, Common Redpolls can survive temperatures up to -54 degrees Celsius, making them well suited for Arctic climates.
Estimated at 630 million individuals, Dark-eyed Juncos can be found coast to coast to coast across the continent! Identify Dark-eyed Juncos by their mechanical sounding trilling song.
Find Fox Sparrows close to the ground in thick vegetation. The oldest recorded Fox Sparrow was at least 10 years and 4 months old.
Green-winged Teals are the smallest breed of dabbling duck in North America. Observe Green-winged Teals most frequently in small flocks during the spring and summer throughout Canada.
Gyrfalcons colour ranges from dark brownish-gray to almost pure white. Gyrfalcons are a northern bird. Find them year-round in Alaska, Yukon Territory, Northwest Territories and Nunavut.
Similar to chipmunks storing seeds in their cheeks, Hoary Redpolls are able to store seeds in their esophagus. Hoary Redpolls call the Arctic home year-round. You’ll have to visit to increase your chances of seeing one!
Frequently observed on the tundra during spring and summer, identify Horned Larks by their black and yellow faces and two tufted horns. Females collect pebbles, dung, and clods of dirt to place beside their nests. It’s speculated that these may help stabilize the nest while it’s being built.
Identify Common Ravens by their deep, gurgling croak. Ravens are one of the smartest birds in the world, similar to other corvids, continuously solving complicated problems created by scientists.
During their summers on the tundra, Lapland Longspurs eat approximately 3,000-10,000 seeds and insects per day, and feed their chicks about 3,000 insects per day. The name “longspur” refers to the unusually long hind claw on this bird.
The smallest shorebird in the world, Least Sandpipers weigh in at about 1 ounce and measure about 12-15 cm long. Least Sandpipers breed across the far north, from Alaska all the way to Newfoundland.
Female Lesser Yellowlegs tend to leave the breeding area before their chicks can fly, leaving the male to defend the young until they are ready to leave the nest. Though Greater and Lesser Yellowlegs look quite similar, they are not each other’s closest relatives. The Lesser Yellowlegs is more closely related to the much larger Willet.
Long-tailed Jaegers prey on lemmings during their summers in the Arctic, but spend the majority of their year at sea preying on fish and competing with other seabirds. Most breeding adults lose their long central tail feathers during non-mating season.
Merlins do not build their own nests, instead opting to reuse the abandoned nests of other raptors. Similar to most raptors, female Merlins are larger than males.
Identify Northern Shovelers by their large – approximately 7 centimeters long – spoon-shaped bill. Look for Northern Shovelers in shallow wetlands where you’ll observe them with their heads down busily foraging.
Nicknamed the “butcher bird”, Northern Shrikes save prey – mice and other birds - they’ve killed by impaling them on branches. Identify Northern Shrikes by their black masks and hooked, stout beaks.
Pacific Loons are smaller than Common Loons. Identify them by their gray heads and slender, straight bills. Observe Pacific Loons on lakes in the tundra during the summer, and coastal waters during the winter.
Peregrine Falcons have been clocked at 320 km/h, approximately 200 km faster than a Cheetah! Peregrine Falcons are found on every continent except Antarctica.
Female Phalaropes have more colourful feathers than males, and will fight fiercely over males they want to mate with. Red-necked Phalaropes breed in the Arctic, and occupy the open ocean during much of their migration.
Identify Sandhill Cranes by their loud, rolling, trumpeting call. Sandhill Cranes mate for life and are well known for their mating dance choreography which includes stretching their wings, pumping their heads, bowing, and gracefully leaping into the air.
Snow Geese nest in scattered areas throughout the northern Arctic. Goslings have the ability to walk up to 80 km with their parents from the nest to a more suitable brood-rearing area within their first three weeks of hatching.
During their breeding season in the far North, Tundra Swans sleep almost entirely on land, but in the winter they sleep more often on water. Tundra Swans defend their nests and young against predators ranging from foxes, weasels, wolves, bears, and other birds.
Identify White-crowned Sparrows by their thin, sweet whistle. White-crowned Sparrows will share their territories with Fox Sparrows, but chase away Dark-eyed Juncos until they leave.
One White-winged Crossbill can eat up to 3,000 conifer seeds in one day. Identify males by their rose-pink hue and females by their greenish tint.
A year-round inhabitant of subarctic tundra, Willow Ptarmigans are pure white in winter and a mix of browns and reds in summer. Willow Ptarmigan form flocks during winter, and where food is abundant, flocks of up to 2,200 birds can be observed!
Yellow Warblers eat mostly insects, making them a welcome predator for mosquitos that swarm the western Arctic during the summer. Observe Yellow Warblers in Willows and other small trees.
Yellow-rumped Warbler’s colouring is quite subdued in the winter, a significant contrast to their plumage in summer which is a mix of bright yellow, charcoal gray and black, and bold white. The Yellow-rumped Warbler’s breeding range includes every province and territory in Canada. They can usually be observed in the western Arctic during May through August.
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