eWestern BirdsThe Quarterly Journal of Western Field Ornithologists
Vol. 37, No. 4
Western Field Ornithologists
Seabirds in the Northern Gulf of Alaska and Adjacent Waters, October to May
Robert H. Day
ABSTRACT: I studied the distribution and abundance of seabirds in the northern Gulf of Alaska and adjacent waters during 16 research cruises from October to May 1997–2001. I recorded 58 species of seabirds on transects, plus one off the transects. The avifauna was dominated numerically by tubenoses (50% of all birds) and alcids (29%), with much smaller numbers of larids (3%), shorebirds (phalaropes; 3%), waterfowl (2%), cormorants (1%), and loons (<1%). Five species each composed ≥5%, and collectively composed 74%, of the wintering avifauna: the Common Murre (Uria aalge; 21%), Northern Fulmar (Fulmarus glacialis; 19%), Fork-tailed Storm-Petrel (Oceanodroma furcata; 16%), Sooty Shearwater (Puffinus griseus; 11%), and Black-legged Kittiwake (Rissa tridactyla; 7%). Another nine species collectively composed ~19% of all birds, whereas the other 44 species collectively composed ~7% of all birds. I recorded from 10 to 37 species per cruise; both the number of species and total density of all birds combined decreased from October to March, then increased rapidly in April and (especially) May.