Anas platyrhynchos

A regular, albeit sparse, migrant in the Pribilof Islands, which could be seen at almost any time of the year but is most regular in the spring between May 5th and June 5th and again in the fall from mid-September into October. The beginning of spring migration for this species typically falls outside of the normal observation period. The end of spring migration is a blurry line due to many summer sightings, but two on 24 June 1999 were likely to be about the latest spring arrivals recorded. Some summer records are birds lingering into late June and July; however it has also shown a pattern of occasionally arriving during mid-summer unlike most other waterfowl species. Records approximately every other year since 2000 exist during the summer months showing this species to be regular then and again clouding when fall migrants begin to arrive. This species was found breeding on St. Paul Island on multiple occasions between the 1870s and 1910s, but there have been no recorded nesting attempts in the Pribilofs since that time. The first day in the fall when this species has been seen on multiple occasions is August 17th (in 1914 and 2013), which coincides well with the start of fall migration for many other waterfowl species. Late fall records are sparse across the years but in those seasons with coverage past mid-October, this species has proven to be regular until the Pribilof waters have frozen solid sometime in November/December, or perhaps throughout the winter in years with minimal ice formation. As one of the few waterfowl to be found year-round in Alaska north of the warmest regions in the southeastern part of the state, this species is one of few that could possibly arrive at any time from November to April when open water exists.

Photo by Nat Drumheller
Photo by Luke DeCicco