“Fully 98%…”

We as birders have an opportunity to help set aside prime habitat for birds by purchasing a Migratory Bird Stamp each year. Fully 98% of this purchase goes directly to buying wetlands, grasslands and other key habitats for our birds, expanding the National Wildlife Refuge System.

I am amazed at the opportunity this gives us if we can just educate birders about what this means and what we, as birders with our huge numbers, can do for setting aside prime habitat. If we all bought a stamp in one year we would raise more than has been purchased in 80 years!!! It is a force!

As we show our support we will be able to include images of other migratory birds on these stamps. Presently waterfowl are depicted. This can become quite the program if we can get the word out, unruffle any feathers of misinformation that has circulated in the past and strive forward to purchase land for our birds into the future.

(from the USFWS Federal Duck Stamp Office)

At the turn of the century, significant bird protection efforts arose to end the disturbing slaughter of birds. This was effectively the country's first organized movement by individuals we generally know as “birders” today. The initial crisis in the 20th century bird conservation was addressed by the Lacy Act of 1900, the creation of Pelican Island in 1903 as the first Federal refuge in the country, and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918. These events effectively outlawed forever the indiscriminate killing of birds in this country, along with the use of their feathers for interstate trade.

A second bird-crisis emerged as a result of the over draining of wetlands, the degradation of prairie grasslands through increased mono-crop agriculture, and by cycles of over-harvesting of waterfowl on ever dwindling habitat. Along with the Dust Bowl of the depression years these events culminated in a drastic loss of waterfowl. An important step taken to address this crisis was the creation of the Federal Migratory Bird Stamp in the mid-1930’s, an action which sought to strengthen a National Refuge System in desperate need of support.”

This system once again is in desperate need of support! Birders to the rescue! We started this protection of our Migratory Birds and we need to continue our direct on-the-ground protection by purchasing an annual Migratory Bird Stamp each year. They are available on line for $15. Go to https://store.usps.com/store/browse/subcategory.jsp?categoryId=duck-stamps (A current stamp of the year also gives free entrance into any Wildlife Refuge that charges admission.)

We have a responsibility to continue the job we started…to protect the birds that give us so much joy by setting aside nesting, rearing, wintering and stopover refuges so they are assured open space and we can continue to monitor and enjoy them.

Meeting, Potluck and Slideshow!

The Kachemak Bay Birders last meeting until August will be Thursday, May 29th at 4:30 pm at Islands and Ocean Visitor Center in the Seminar room.  After the meeting there will be a potluck meal and members will share slides. Come and enjoy this last gathering, great meal and always interesting slides! Bring a dish to share and up to 10 slides on a thumb drive if you'd like to show them.

Everyone is welcome and there is no charge. For more information contact Lani Raymond 399-9477 or Lori Paulsrud 299-3724. Cosponsored by the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge.




Great Backyard Bird Count

Thank you to the many birders who participated in the Great Backyard Bird Count this year. It is an important way to help with the counting of birds in our area and finding some very interesting ones also. If you would like to check out what was submitted on the Kenai Peninsula, check out http://ebird.org/ebird/gbbc/subnational2/US-AK-122?yr=all.
Some very interesting birds we found here in Homer were the RUSTIC BUNTING, NORTHERN FLICKER, and WHITE-THROATED SPARROW. (The White-throated Sparrow has an interesting story concerning how it was reported. Apparently—and this is just a story I heard second-hand—the location was initially given with longitude and latitude coordinates. However with one little number typo error, this bird ended up located in Russia, not Homer! So this Homer birder was able not just to see all the way to Russia, but see a really great bird in Russia from his living room window! And then enter it on the GBBC which fortunately now is international…)

Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival – 2013 Big Spit Plus Challenge

The Kachemak Bay Birders would like to thank everyone who participated in, or donated prizes to, this year's (2013) Big Spit Plus Challenge during the 21st Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival.  The event could not have occurred without you.  This year's Big Spit Plus was expanded in time (2.5 days) and location (Stariski River South to Homer and East to Fox River Flats and trips on the waters of Kachemak Bay). 

Participanting teams and the number of birds observed


1st Place: Mr. Whitekeys and Friends found 80 species

            Grace, Damien, Eve, Atlas, and Max Burke

2nd Place: Birding Buntings found 55 species

            Nolan and Landon Bunting


1st Place: Pedaling Plovers found 104 species

            Erick and Lori Paulsrud

2nd Place: Many Sparrows found 57 species

            Silas, Aurora and Anna Firth

Participation: Family Big Year found 41 species

            Mike, Jen, Katie and Rosie McCrudden



Bay Excursions (Karl Stoltzfus)–discounts on trips out on the Bay

Gary Lyon–print

Kachemak Crane Watch?gift certificates to the Homer Book Store

Kachemak Bay Conservation Society?youth prizes and bags

Captain's Coffee?beverage coupons

Don Jose's?gift certificate for a meal

Cosmic Kitchen–gift certificate for a meal

Two Sisters–gift certificate for a meal

Fat Olive's–gift certificate for a meal


Thank you everyone

Bird Window Strikes

Over 270 species of birds in the United States and Canada have been documented striking windows, and each year millions of birds die from striking windows.


The Muhlenberg College in Allentown, Pennsylvania is working on project identifying bird window collisions and they would like you help. The college, however, is only looking for information on those birds not currently on their list of bird window strikes. The list of birds they have documented as striking windows is available on their website.


For more information on how to report a bird strike or for a list of birds already identified, check out their website: 



For more information on how to prevent window strikes go to the American Bird Conservancy's website: http://www.abcbirds.org/abcprograms/policy/collisions/glass.html where you can download their brochure on what you can do to prevent window strikes.

Color Bands on Birds

Have you ever been out bird watching and noticed that one of the birds has color bands on one or both legs?

According to Alaska Audubon, researchers attach color and numeric markers to birds to track individual birds. With color bands, each bird receives a unique combination of colors. For some birds, color bands are placed on their leg(s).  For some large waterfowl, such as swans, researchers use collars instead of bands. For large soaring birds, such as golden eagles, researchers may use wing tags. These are large number tags attached to the wings so they are visible when the birds fly high overhead.

Banding helps us understand where birds migrate, where they may stop along the way, and where they spend the winter away from Alaska. Finding these locations is essential to maintaining healthy bird populations. If there is habitat loss at stopover sites along migration routes or on wintering grounds, that affects the populations of birds in Alaska.

It is important for researchers to know where these birds are spotted. If you come across a bird with color bands on its leg(s), write the colors down in order (top to bottom), and be sure to note if they’re on the right or left leg. For birds with collar bands or wing tags, write down the number. The information recorded should be submitted to the U.S. Geological Survey, North American Bird Banding Program at:


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