A Hawfinch from our 2012 trip to the Pribilofs. Photo by Aaron Lang.
The Pribilof Islands of Alaska are a small cluster of volcanic islands located about 250 miles north of the Aleutian Chain and 300 miles west of the Alaska mainland. Due to their isolated setting and fascinating wildlife, they are often described as the “Galapagos of the North.” St. Paul Island is home to thousands of seabirds nesting in easily observed colonies along the steep shores of the island and the Pribilofs are the only accessible location in North American to find Red-legged Kittiwake, a common breeding bird on the islands. Other special nesting birds include Red-faced Cormorant, Common and Thick-billed Murres, Parakeet, Least and Crested Auklets, and Horned and Tufted Puffins.
Our trip is timed well to intercept migrating shorebird and waterfowl from both Alaska and from Asia, and the island is perhaps best known to birders for the long list of Asian strays that have been found here over the years. Rarities are regularly found here each year during spring migration and we’ll spend time combing through marshes, beaches, and passerine habitat trying to locate them. Highlights of recent tours include Tundra Bean-Goose, White-tailed Eagle, Black-tailed Godwit, Common Tern, Common Snipe, Wood Sandpiper, Common Greenshank, Lesser Sand-Plover, Bristle-thighed Curlew, Gray Wagtail, Siberian Rubythroat, Dusky Thrush, and Hawfinch!
In addition to the birding, St. Paul’s beaches serve as haul-outs and rookeries for thousands of North Pacific fur seals, arctic foxes patrol the beaches and village streets, and an endemic shrew lurks in the moist grass. The Aleut culture and the Russian and American history of the fur seal harvest and trade are also fascinating cultural highlights of this trip.
Note: Price is based on double occupancy. Meals are included in the trip price. During May, single supplements may be available for $70 per night. You are responsible for your Anchorage lodging, meals and other Anchorage arrangements. The trip begins and ends at the Anchorage airport. The flight on Day 1 departs Anchorage approximately noon, and the return flight arrives back in Anchorage approximately 8:15 PM.