Spruced Up for Springtime

Springtime in Southcentral Alaska means breeding season for spruce grouse. Male spruce grouse, identified easily by their black- and white-trimmed throats and chests topped with scarlet eye combs, get dandied up in April and May to court hens. Although they’re not formal lekers, males can often be found concentrated in relatively small areas during breedingContinue reading “Spruced Up for Springtime”

RIDDLE of the WINNOWING SNIPE

Although the photo illustration is not the usual full-frame bird close-up, this blog post may be of interest to people from the northern United States, Canada, and Alaska who’ve been seeing – and hearing – a lot of common snipe lately. The picture captures a snipe diving from the cloudy sky near Anchorage, Alaska, thisContinue reading “RIDDLE of the WINNOWING SNIPE”

Hunting March Hares

by Ken Marsh Yesterday’s trip up Southcentral Alaska’s Glenn Highway started off with winds gusting to 65 mph. I almost turned back, but found Eureka area relatively calm, if cold (around 0 degrees F, not including a light chill factor). It was a perfect afternoon for snowshoeing – and hunting up some snowshoe hares. SomeContinue reading “Hunting March Hares”

River of Quiet Renown

Roads are few in Alaska’s remote Copper Basin, but the Gulkana River makes passage as simple – and wonderfully adventurous – as stepping into a raft or canoe.  By Ken Marsh We’d rafted downriver from Paxson Lake a bend, maybe two, our five-day float trip barely begun, when the splashes of feeding grayling drove usContinue reading “River of Quiet Renown”

Spring Wings

More than 300 Pacific Flyway bird species funnel through Southeast Alaska each spring, crowding the skies in numbers sure to inspire even a casual birder. By Ken Marsh Salmon Bay Lake on Prince of Wales Island was alive with birds that late-April evening, proof that even here in Southeast Alaska no winter lasts forever. InContinue reading “Spring Wings”