Friday, June 19, 2009

Polar Bears

Point Barrow, Alaska

Nine miles northeast of Barrow lies Point Barrow, the most northernmost point of the United States. This is where the locals dump whale bones to prevent Polar Bears from coming into town. After word of eight bears, four of us ventured out there. Right away we had two Polar Bears out on the ice and after a while, they came ashore to feed on the four whale carcasses.

Tomorrow will be the first whale festival of the year. I'm hoping to see some of it after nest searching. The blanket toss sounds interesting...

1 comment:

Deanna Campbell said...

Hello Ethan! Nice Blog!
What a great summer job! My name is Deanna Campbell. I live in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, and I am an avid birder (and Family Physician). I will also be up in Barrow as of June 24!
Tonight I was checking out the Ohio bird sightings website for a friend who is on a roadtrip in Ohio and needs a BB Cuckoo badly ("nemesis bird"), when I happened across Kenn Kauffman's note about Arctic bird breeding issues and a certain young Ohio birder working up in Barrow!
I hope you don't mind me asking, but is there any chance you could do some birding with me? I am doing a solo Alaska "Clean-up" trip. Two years ago I was in Gambell and Nome and last year I went to the Pribs (Rufous-tailed Robin, which should be the ABA area's next newbird, was my ABA Bird #600!!!). I racked up so many Alaska airlines points, I decided to try this year for my last Eider - Spectacled...
I arrive about 7 pm on the Wednesday and leave about noon on the Friday. I have rented a car, am staying at the King Eider Hotel, and pick up my permit to roam freely from the band office first thing Thursday. I have a trip to the point tentatively booked for Thursday am but could reschedule/cancel as needed (Gotta try for those Polar Bears, too - nice pics!)
After Barrow, I go back to Anchorage, drive up to the Denali Highway at Paxson for my last Longspur - Smith's, and Arctic Warbler, and then go to Homer for Kittlitz's Murrelet,and if I am very lucky, a failed-nester Surfbird (one of MY nemesis birds...) All in five days - who needs sleep when there is 24 hours daylight? Well, maybe just enough.
If you are interested please email me at Even if you could just let me know IF and where the Specs are being seen, it'd be a great help. And if those Ruffs or Buff-breasted sandpipers are still around, those also would be amazing!
If it helps, I am also a BirdingPal - you can check the website - I've helped a good number of folks find good birds here in southern Alberta.
Whatever comes of this, I wish you much luck with your project and I'll be following your blog regularly.
Happy Birding! Take care, Deanna