Migratory birds begin making appearances in Barrow

Posted: Tuesday, April 30, 2002

BARROW (AP) -- Despite temperatures that still get down to zero, migratory birds have begun arriving in Barrow.

Frank Willingham, a professor of Ilisagvik College, said 54 species of birds have arrived and more are on the way.

Residents began seeing snow buntings around April 15th. Willingham said he passed by the landfill Friday and was surprised to see seagulls.

''All of a sudden, I think that strong wind blew them right our way,'' he said. ''Of course, they do not have much water to paddle around in, but they are here, and they look healthy.''

Willingham developed the Barrow Birding Center to help track arriving birds.

More than 189 species visit Barrow, though not every year, Willingham said. Flocks of ducks have been spotted flying over ocean ice and he received a report of a loon sighting Saturday.

Most of the sea birds have come along the coast line to Barrow from along the Bering Sea. Other birds, such as the snow buntings, fly overland from Canada and the Lower 48, he said.


On the Net:

Barrow Birding Center: http://www.barrowbird.org

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