Gustavus, AK
Gustavus, AK. Photo: Wayne Hsieh

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Gustavus is the gateway to exploring Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve. This small and remote community is surrounded by immense wilderness. The National Park, with over 2.7 million acres of designated Wilderness Area, is adjacent to even more extensive wilderness areas to the north of Glacier Bay in Canada. This area with its numerous fjords, islands, active tidewater glaciers, and deglaciation are constantly changing the landscape and creating new habitats for plants and wildlife. This landscape is rich with birdlife including seabirds, shorebirds, and waterfowl.  There are over 281 species of birds documented in the area, including between 56-80 wintering species. Glacier Bay is known to support as much as 20 percent of the global population of Kittlitz’s Murrelet, with recently deglaciated areas providing important nesting habitats. Species such as Marbled Murrelet while rare at locations in the lower 48 are common within the Glacier Bay area.

Other species you are likely to see on your trip to Gustavus include Harlequin Duck; Barrow’s Goldeneye; Common Loon, Pacific Loon, and Red-throated Loon; Tufted Puffin along with a wide diversity of shorebirds, waterbirds, and waterfowl during spring and fall migrations.

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General Area Overview and Information Sources:

Birding and wildlife resources:

Sites in Gustavus

Birding Photo: Ben Sullender

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