The Yukon is a land of remarkable wilderness, diverse ecosystems, and profound beauty. It is also home to a unique assemblage of birds. As of 2002, 288 bird species have been documented in the Yukon, with 223 occurring regularly. They occupy an amazing range of habitats, from the most barren mountain peaks to lush valley bottom forests, and are an integral part of the cultural heritage of Yukon First Nations people. The vast areas of natural habitat with limited road access can make the study of birds challenging, but are key in defining the nature of birding in the Yukon.
Birds of the Yukon Territory is the result of a decade-long project initiated to gather and share what is known about the Yukon's birdlife. Lavishly illustrated with 600 colour photographs and 223 hand-drawn bird illustrations, Birds of the Yukon Territory presents a wealth of information on bird distribution, migration and breeding chronology, nesting behaviour, and habitat use, and on conservation concerns. Two hundred and eighty-eight species of birds are documented, including 223 regular species, and 65 casual and accidental species. In compiling this meticulously researched volume, the authors consulted over 166,000 records in a database created by the Canadian Wildlife Service, with information dating back to 1861.
Sections on birds in Aboriginal culture and history, and bird names in the Yukon First Nations and Inuvialuit languages, enhance Birds of the Yukon Territory, as do the numerous easily interpreted charts and graphs. Destined to become a basic reference work on the avifauna of the North, Birds of the Yukon Territory is a must-have for bird enthusiasts and anyone interested in the natural history of the Yukon and the North.
The Yukon Environment
The History of Bird Study in the Yukon
Birds in Aboriginal Culture and History
Yukon Birds through the Seasons
Bird Conservation in the Yukon
Birds of the Yukon Database and Methodology
Organization of the Species Accounts
Family Gaviidae: Loons
Family Podicipedidae: Grebes
Family Phalacrocoracidae: Cormorants
Family Ardeidae: Herons
Family Anatidae: Geese, Swans, and Ducks
Family Accipitridae: Osprey, Hawks, and Eagles
Family Falconidae: Falcons
Family Phasianidae: Grouse
Family Rallidae: Rails and Coots
Family Gruidae: Cranes
Family Charadriidae: Plovers
Family Scolopacidae: Sandpipers, Phalaropes, and Allies
Family Laridae: Skuas, Gulls, and Terns
Family Alcidae: Auks and Murres
Family Columbidae: Pigeons and Doves
Family Strigidae: Owls
Family Caprimulgidae: Goatsuckers
Family Trochilidae: Hummingbirds
Family Alcedinidae: Kingfishers
Family Picidae: Woodpeckers
Family Tyrannidae: Flycatchers
Family Laniidae: Shrikes
Family Vireoniidae: Vireos
Family Corvidae: Crows and Jays
Family Alaudidae: Larks
Family Hirundinidae: Swallows
Family Paridae: Chickadees
Family Sittidae: Nuthatches
Family Troglodytidae: Wrens
Family Cinclidae: Dippers
Family Regulidae: Kinglets
Family Turdidae: Thrushes
Family Sturnidae: Starlings
Family Motacillidae: Pipits and Wagtails
Family Bombycillidae: Waxwings
Family Parulidae: Wood Warblers
Family Thraupidae: Tanagers
Family Emberizidae: Sparrows
Family Cardinalidae: Grosbeaks
Family Icteridae: Blackbirds
Family Fringillidae: Finches
Casual and Accidental Species
Hypothetical and Exotic Species
A. List of Yukon Birds
B. Yukon First Nations and Inuvialuit Bird Names
C. Plants and Animals Mentioned in the Text
D. Place Names Mentioned in the Text
E. The North American Breeding Bird Survey in the Yukon
F. The Christmas Bird Count in the Yukon
G. The Cooperative Roadside Waterfowl Breeding Population Survey in Southern Yukon
H. The Alaska-Yukon Waterfowl Breeding Population Survey
I. The Yukon/Northern British Columbia Trumpeter Swan Survey
J. The North American Peregrine Falcon Survey
About the Authors
Authors and Artists of the Regular Species Accounts
The editors all live in the Yukon Territory and are avid birders and members of the Yukon Bird Club. Pamela H. Sinclair, Wendy A. Nixon, and Nancy L. Hughes are biologists at the Canadian Wildlife Service in Whitehorse. Cameron D. Eckert is Conservation Biologist for the Parks and Protected Areas Branch of the Yukon Department of Environment.
a"It lays the definitive groundwork for all future studies on avian biogeography in this region of North America [...] . The editors and authors have done a superb job of distilling and synthesizing what must have been an unwieldy and, at times, overwhelming amount of information [...]. Birds of the Yukon Territory is a stunning achievement. Not only have the editors and authors summarized virtually everything learned about the birds of this fascinating area since the mid-19th century, but they have also set the stage for 21st-century exploration and research. Their effort is a superb example of the increasing value, and perhaps necessity, of broad collaboration and cooperation in preparing regional avifaunal summaries.
– Brian J. McCaffery, The Quarterly Review of Biology, Volume 78, December 2003
"I can't find anything wrong with this book. If every province, state and region had a bird book like this, the world would be a better place. In the field of regional books on birds, Birds of the Yukon Territory gets a Perfect Ten."
– Bruce Mactavish, Birders Journal, Vol 12, No 2, April/May
"A wonderful book detailing the distribution, nesting, migration and history of 288 bird species found in the Yukon [...] .This book is both enjoyable to page through and a detailed reference."
– Robert E. Hoopes, Wildlife Activist #48, Autumn 2003
"Gorgeous, elaborate, and indispensable."
– Erling Friis-Baastad, Yukon News
"Every aspect of the Yukon's birdlife is covered in this monumental book, from details of the birds' status and habitat, to distinctive aspects of their behavior in the Yukon, to their importance in traditional cultures. It makes fascinating reading, and every page provides evidence of the uniqueness of this little-known regaion. This book fills a large gap in the literature on North American birds."
– David A. Sibley, author of The Sibley Guide to Birds and The Sibley Guide to Bird Life and Behavior
"A truly significant contribution to our knowledge of the avifauna of northwestern North America."
– Brina Kessel, Professor of Zoology, Emeritus, and Ornithology Collections Curator, Emeritus, University of Alaska, Fairbanks
"Birds of the Yukon Territory is a great leap forward in our knowledge of bird life in the boreal forest and tundra regions of North America. What makes this book an incredible achievement is the impressive volume of information that has been amassed from a rugged land with a small human population and limited road access to remote areas. The commitment of everyone involved in the project will be fulfilled if the protection of birds and their habitats become foremost in the minds of people living in the Yukon Territory and neighbouring provinces and states."
– R. Wayne Campbell, senior author of The Birds of British Columbia, and Director of the WBT Wild Bird Trust of B.C. Wildlife Data Centre
"The Yukon has long been one of my favorite birding destinations and I've eagerly awaited the arrival of Birds of the Yukon Territory. It will certainly become one of my favorite books. An incredible amount of information on the bird life of this last frontier has been carefully distilled, clearly written, and attractively presented in this major work."
– Richard J. Cannings, co-author of British Columbia: A Natural History, The BC Roadside Naturalist, and Birds of the Okanagan Valley, British Columbia; and Christmas Bird Count Coordinator, Bird Studies Canada
"With this book, both the birds and birders of the Yukon are now firmly 'on the map.' No longer will we be tempted to think only in terms of 'northern breeding grounds' or 'the northern extension of this bird's range.' Instead, this fine volume invites us to know the Yukon birds on Yukon terms, with all the detail and ecological complexity that one expects from such an interesting fauna, and such an interesting place."
– John Acorn, author of Butterflies of Alberta, co-author of Birds of Alberta, and host of The Nature Nut
"I highly recommend this book to others as a paragon for this type of writing. This book raises the bar for state bird books, and the compilers of Birds of the Yukon Territory should be extremely proud of this volume."
– Bruce Neville, E-Streams, Vol. 6, No. 12, December 2003
"This is an incredible, big, beautiful and bewitching reference book of bird information, similar in scope to The Birds of British Columbia. It overflows with stunning pictures, lively descriptions, all the technical details you could want and some interesting ecology and history thrown in. You can tell that I was swept away."
– John B. Sprage, British Columbia Birds, Vol. 13, 2003