American Birding Podcast



#ABArare – Brown Shrike – Alaska

Yet another big find in western Alaska. After an excellent week on both St. Lawrence and St. Paul, the former comes up big again in the form of an ABA Code 4 Brown Shrike, spotted by Neil Hayward of ABA Big Year fame, at the boatyard in the village of Gambell.

photo by Neil Hayward, used with permission

photo by Neil Hayward, used with permission

For those unaware, Gambell is a small village on the northwest coast of St. Lawrence Island, which lies between Alaska and the Chukchi peninsula of far eastern Russia (and closer to the latter) and just south of the Arctic circle. It is thought to be one of the last exposed pieces of the land bridge which once connected Asia and North America.

Brown Shrike in the ABA Area is mostly recorded from the Aleutians, but there are records as far south as the Farallon Islands, San Francisco County, California. This is the fourth record from Gambell, and the third record for fall. The two previous fall records also came in the late August/early September period. Notably, the remaining spring account – from the late 1970s – was the first record of Brown Shrike in the ABA Area.

All records come from the west of North America save one from Nova Scotia in fall of 1997.