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Posted Friday 2nd February 2018 at 22:39 by alaskabirder
Updated Friday 2nd February 2018 at 22:41 by alaskabirder
Hello Kingbirds! If y'll have checked out my Alaska Photo Gall, then you know of Denali Highway! The views are BREATHTAKING right? I guess that's a rhetorical question. Denali Highway IS BREATHTAKING! No question about it. What I haven't told you you about Denali Highway, I hit one of Alaska's best breeding birds it has to offer! It's a flycatcher. An Empid to be exact, and no, I didn't hit the bird with a car, I hit it hard and fast with my binos! This Empid is widespread during migration in the east, casual to accidental in the west, and breeds across the taiga belt in Canada. Despite being uncommon, birders go through a lot of trouble to see one in the east, and few ever get to witness this bird in the upper Canadian taiga, let alone Alaska. There are onlt 2 known breeding pops of this bird in Alaska, according to my handy dandy Sibley. From the Yukon territory, their range barely extends into South-east Fairbanks county, plus an isolated pop in central Alaska. In Alaska, Hammond's and Alder Flycatchers greatly outnumber this bird where all 3 species' distributions overlap in the state. To give AK birders an even harder time, this Emp's breeding populations are in vast Black Spruce/Tamarack expansions. I'm talking thousands upon thousands upon thousands of acres of breeding habitat have the potential of holding very small amounts of these flycatchers! Believe me when I say, the land around Denali Highway is HUGE! THOUSANDS of Lakes and ponds dot the landscape, while MILLIONS upon MILLIONS of trees blanket the vast taiga/tundra! To top it off, far off in the distance, 12,000 ft. tall mountains loom like giants over the land! Anyways, let's get on with the story!
To read the rest of the story, visit my blog @
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