Contributors

Rusty Blackbird Cukcugli

by Frank Keim What a coincidence. Just moments before starting to write this article, a small troupe of Rusty blackbirds flew over my house, headed south for the winter. I used the word “troupe” because […]

Contributors

Violet-green Swallow Kauturyaraq

by Frank Keim Take a close look at this swallow. Notice its long wings and white “saddle bags,” and the glossy quality of its plumage, sparkling with iridescent emerald green and metallic purple in the […]

Contributors

Horned Lark Eremophila alpestris

by Frank Keim Although the Horned lark nests in the Lower Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta, it is only seen by those who actively seek it out. This is because it nests primarily in alpine mountainous regions, such […]

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Pelagic Cormorant Uyalek

by Frank Keim While living in Hooper Bay in the early 1980’s, I saw this big black seawater bird over by Cape Romanzof in the Askinuk Mountains. I say “big” because it is bigger than […]

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Greater Yellowlegs Sugg’erpak, Nayangkayuli

by Frank Keim The Greater yellowlegs, like its smaller first cousin the Lesser yellowlegs, is a shorebird that’s hard to miss. Its slender, long, bright-yellow legs and loud alarm calls, combined with its deliberate high-stepping […]

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Earth Day 2020

by Frank Keim Our planet Earth has been having a hard time of it lately. But reflecting over the past 50 years since a small group of us put together the first organizational committee to […]

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Surf Scoter Akacakayak or Cingayak

by Frank Keim One of the Yup’ik names, Akacakayak, for this crazy looking duck describes its odd appearance perfectly. The male’s nose in spring does indeed look like a bird who has “overturned accidentally,” and […]

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Gadwall Uqsuqaq

by Frank Keim For gleaming colors, the male of this species is unremarkable, but for the visual texture of his plumage, there is no other duck that is comparable. The combination of the black and […]

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Bonaparte’s Gull Nacallngaq

by Frank Keim Athough the Bonaparte’s gull is Alaska’s smallest gull, I’ve never seen a feistier one, and I suggest not picking a fight with it.* This means, if you approach their nest or their […]

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Common Raven Tulukaruq

by Frank Keim Ever wondered why the Raven is called Tulukaruq in Yup’ik? Well, all it takes is a little imagination and a little twisting and turning of your tongue, mouth and vocal cords, and […]

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Wilson’s Snipe ~ Capella gallinago Kukukuaq

by Frank Keim Listen carefully high above you in spring (and sometimes even in fall) and you may be lucky enough to hear the Wilson’s snipe’s haunting winnowing call, woo-woo-woo-woo. You won’t mistake this sound […]

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Death of the Thunderbirds

by Frank Keim A long time ago two giant thunderbirds used to have their nest in the mountains above Ohagmiut. They were always very hungry, and people were warned not to wear their parkas with the […]

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Trumpeter Swan (Caqulegpak)

by Frank Keim If you’ve watched Trumpeter swans, there are two things you notice right from the get-go: their enormous size and their loud resonant call, which reminds me of, well, a trumpet. Trumpeters are […]

Contributors

Red-necked Grebe Aayuli/Aarayuli

by Frank Keim The Yup’ik names of the Red-necked grebe describe this bird well. Both of the above names mean, “the one that really knows how to moan and scream loud.” Yes, indeed, they are […]