Bird of the Year 2024

Meet your 2024 candidates!

Polls are now closed for the 2024 Bird of the Year election. Stay tuned for graphic artist Eric Cline to illustrate our winner!

Black goose on land


Greetings to all my two-legged and feathered supporters! I'm a Brant – yes, the dashing, sociable goose with sleek black feathers and a penchant for Alaskan coastlines. I'm here to flap my wings into the race for Audubon Alaska's 2024 Bird of the Year. Why, you ask? Well, let me share my story—or should I say our story.

Alaska, oh beautiful Alaska! It's not just a scenic backdrop for dramatic TV shows; it's our home, our buffet, and our nursery. Places like Teshekpuk Lake and Izembek Lagoon are like our exclusive Brant resorts, essential for our globetrotting lifestyle. Imagine having your favorite eelgrass restaurant turned into a parking lot; that's what habitat loss feels like for us!

But fear not: there's hope on the horizon (and it's not just the White Raven bringing light back to the world). Audubon Alaska is out there, doing the hard work, ensuring that Alaska remains a haven for birds like me. They're like our guardian angels, only with binoculars and maps instead of harps.

So, why cast your vote for a Brant like me? Well, we're not just about migrating in style; we're a symbol of the wild, untamed spirit of Alaska. Voting for me is more than just supporting a bird; it's about championing the health of our ecosystems, protecting our feathery families, and ensuring that the skies of Alaska continue to echo with our calls. Let's join wings and beaks in this flight for a better future!

Black and white sea bird on water

Marbled Murrelet  

Hello there, all you fine folks and feather friends of Alaska! I'm the Marbled Murrelet, and I'm excited to be in the running for Audubon Alaska's 2024 Bird of the Year. Let me paint you a picture: it begins almost exactly a year ago, on January 27, 2023.

I was sitting there, floating off the coast of Southeast Alaska, daydreaming of my penthouse suite high up in the heavy boughs of an old-growth tree in the Tongass National Forest. It came first as a whisper that turned into peeps and then keer-keer-keers of joy: our homes were protected! The Roadless Rule was repealed and protections were restored to the Tongass!

I was overcome with gratitude. While I spend the majority of my time diving for tiny fish and zooplankton, I’m a homebody at heart. In the lush, green expanse of the Tongass, my kind finds a hidden sanctuary. Nesting in the Tongass is like living in a hidden fortress, especially high up in the ancient trees. It’s quiet, peaceful, and now safe. Our population has been in decline so it’s more important than ever for us to find habitat that is robust and protected.

The pivotal role of Audubon Alaska in advocating for the repeal of the Roadless Rule is precisely why I'm stepping up as a candidate for Bird of the Year. Their relentless efforts and dedication to preserving our natural habitats are inspiring. They've shown that with commitment and unity, positive environmental change is possible.

By running for Bird of the Year, I aim to bring attention to the importance of such conservation victories and the ongoing need to protect our natural wonders. A vote for a Marbled Murrelet is a vote of gratitude towards Audubon Alaska's work, a celebration of the Roadless Rule repeal, and a commitment to the continued preservation of the Tongass National Forest. Together, let's honor and safeguard the vibrant life that thrives in Alaska's majestic coastal rainforests!

White bird on snow

Snow Bunting  

Hey Alaska! I'm the Snow Bunting, your frost-loving contender for Audubon Alaska's 2024 Bird of the Year. Wondering why a Snow Bunting like me deserves your vote? Well, aside from being adorably fluffy (which should be reason enough, in my opinion!), I can also claim the title of being the world’s northernmost passerine species. That fact alone should tell you just how far I’m willing to go as this year’s Bird of the Year.

Another thing about us male Snow Buntings: we're the ultimate early birds of the Arctic. We fly to our breeding grounds when it's more ice than nice, with temperatures dipping to a refreshing -22° F in mid-March. Talk about being keen on location! We do this to claim the coziest rock crevices for our nests for our ladybirds. Nest real estate in the Arctic is more competitive and bloodthirsty than the housing market in California, which is hard to believe!
Our female counterparts, wisely, time their arrival when the Arctic is less of an icebox, about 3 to 4 weeks later. I’m sure they appreciate us braving those frozen tundra temps early for them!

I'm not just a bird who loves the cold; I represent the spirit of the Arctic: resilient, unique, and utterly enchanting. A vote for me is a commitment to safeguarding our Arctic homes and ensuring Alaska remains a haven for all its winged inhabitants. This year, choose the Snow Bunting: Adorable. Fluffy. And the best Arctic spokesbird you could ask for. Vote for the Snow Bunting!

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