Frontier eBirding

By Alaska eBird July 15, 2020
American Bittern Botaurus lentiginosus

As you know, Alaska is a unique state in many ways. Alaska is big, and Alaska is remote. Not including our rich and diverse marine waters, Alaska is over twice the size of the next largest state (Texas), and has by far the lowest road density of any state. Its size and remoteness are one of the numerous reasons many of us enjoy this state so much, but these aspects also provide unique challenges to understanding Alaska’s avifauna. Much of the state does not get surveyed ornithologically, and even less gets surveyed on a regular basis. Complete temporal and geographic coverage of a region can provide powerful inferences into changes in species distribution and migration timing.

Total Alaska eBird checklist coverage and density as of July, 2020

As you can see in the map above, large swaths of the Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area and North Slope Borough have never had an eBird checklist submitted. In these remote regions, rivers replace roads and planes replace cars, making getting around a serious challenge. However, when eBirders explore and submit complete checklists in these under birder areas of the state, it makes eBird a more powerful tool for researchers.

What can you do:

  • Increase eBirds geographic coverage – explore parts of the state that have few checklists
  • Increase eBirds temporal coverage – visit sites at times of the year other eBirders have not
  • Submit high quality checklists – keep short and precise checklists wherever you go following eBird’s best practices

On this page, we want to highlight eBirders doing these things and filling gaps in eBird coverage in Alaska. These reports mainly focus on the avifauna of an area, but they also include logistics to encourage other eBirders to follow in their footsteps and explore remote locations and different times.


Frontier eBirding – Stikine River 2020

Frontier eBirding – Wales 2019