Eiders, Shorebirds, and Loons, Oh My! Utqiagvik, Alaska

Stilt Sandpiper chick, Zachary Pohlen

***Trips 1a and 1b are both full as of 4/12. Click here to add yourself to the wait list.***

Trip 1a and 1b.  Eiders, Shorebirds, and Loons, Oh My!  Utqiagvik, Alaska


  • Trip 1a: Saturday and Sunday, 22 and 23 June (stay overnight on 22 June)
  • Trip 1b: Saturday and Sunday, 29 and 30 June (stay overnight on 29 June)

Start and end times: 22 June (Saturday) 5:30 am depart Anchorage hotel; 23 June (Sunday) 9:00 pm return to Anchorage airport.

Costs: AOS registration fee is $560 per person. This will cover guide fee, rental vehicles, gas, and land-use permit. Participants are also responsible separately for airfare, lodging, and most meals.

  • Airfare: Visitors must book and pay for airfare from Anchorage to Utqiagvik (formerly Barrow) currently estimated at $372/person round trip but can reach $700/person if booked March to April 2019. We recommend booking airline ticket as soon as possible to get cheapest fare. Obtain 5% discount on Alaska Airlines flights with discount code: ECMZ939; see https://amornithmeeting.org/travel-information/ for more information.
    • ANC-BRW Alaska Airlines #55  7:30 am – 10:55 am (22 or 29 June)
    • BRW-ANC Alaska Airlines #50  7:04 pm – 9:00 pm (23 or 30 June)
  • Lodging: You will be responsible for paying hotel room costs when you are in Utqiagvik. A block of rooms has been reserved at the Airport Inn Hotel. Call the hotel (Alexander at 907-852-2525) to reserve the room that meets your needs (they have singles, doubles, and rooms with and without kitchenettes). All rooms are between $199.50 and $204.50 each.  There is a limited number of double rooms—they cost the same as the singles. Please tell Alexander that you are booking a room that is currently reserved under Richard Lanctot or Crystal Ruiz.
  • Meals: Dinner on first night will be provided for you at the shorebird team’s house. You will be responsible for other meals; restaurants are available for you to eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner. If you book a room with a kitchenette you can also bring food or buy food at the local grocery store.

Maximum participants:  6 people during each 2-day trip

Trip Leader(s): Richard Lanctot (or designee)

Trip Description: Fly to Utqiagvik early in the morning on Saturday (22 or 29 June), and spend the day traveling around Utqiagvik sightseeing and birding.  Hopefully there will also be a Nalukataq (whale festival) on these days too. The next day, visitors will have the opportunity to walk around the tundra with shorebird researchers who are actively locating and monitoring nests, banding adult and young shorebirds, and measuring other environmental variables. Leave on evening flight on Sunday (23 or 30 June). We will have two 5-person SUVs to travel around Utqiagvik’s limited road system. Participants may extend their trip but will be responsible for housing, transportation, and food.

Likely species: 10–12 species of shorebirds, 4 species of eiders, Snowy Owl, 3 species of jaegers, 3–4 species of loons, and rare Asian migrants.

Recommended Gear and Cautions: Binoculars, warm clothing, and knee boots required (hip boots preferred). Bring insect repellent. Final participants will be provided a more detailed gear list. Contact Rick Lanctot (richard_lanctot@fws.gov). Polar bears are rarely seen and almost always along the coast. Hypothermia is the greatest risk for those ill prepared for the cold, although late June can also have insects and be very warm (60F).

utqiagvik 2