Many seabirds spend most of their life on the water. They come to land for the nesting season, taking advantage of the safe haven offered by inaccessible cliffs and bluffs. Each species has a unique nesting niche. Common Murres nest in colonies on rock cliffs, laying their eggs on bare rock. Fortunately, the pear-shaped eggs rarely roll off! Tufted Puffins and Pigeon Guillemots come ashore to nest in burrows and rock crevices. Other seabirds trade the dangerous cliff life and take their chances raising young atop the cliffs in shrubs or bare ground.
Many of the birds occupying sea cliffs and similar coastal environments are colonial breeders. While the conservation threats may be limited in these remote habitats, the consequences of a pollution event or other major disturbance can be devastating.
Habitats Our Birds Need
Arctic and Subarctic Tundra
Alaska has vast expanses of arctic and subalpine tundra characterized by low temperatures, permafrost, and a short growing season.
Coastal Dunes and Beaches
Coastal dunes and beach communities face a dynamic, harsh environment that requires plants to have unique survival mechanisms.
Conifer forests, including our magnificent temperate rainforests, dominate the Pacific Northwest from California to southeast Alaska.
Hawaiian Montane Forest
‘Ohi’a and in some areas koa trees dominate the canopy of the lush cloud forests found on the higher elevations of Kaua’i, Maui, Hawai’i, O’ahu, and Moloka’i.
Hawaii’s freshwater wetlands support the Ae’o, or Hawaiian Stilt, and five other species of endemic, endangered waterbirds.
Intertidal Rocky Shorelines
Rocky shorelines along the North Pacific coastline occupy the region between high and low tide.
An atoll is a coral reef island, or islets. They are are characteristically ring-shaped with a central lagoon, and sometimes a central island.
Riparian corridors occur along rivers and streams and across floodplains and terraces.