Not everyone who visits Denali are human—the National Park and preserve are home (in the summertime, at least) to over 160 bird species, many of them migratory. The chance to spot some of the rarer birds in North America, including the Alaska state bird, the willow ptarmigan, as well as ducks, loons, eagles, osprey, hawks, falcons, plovers, sandpipers, gulls, owls, woodpeckers, swallows, and so many more in the beautiful Alaska wilderness makes Denali a birder’s paradise.
Season by season you’ll get not only the beauty of the evolving landscapes of this stunning park, but also the different species of birds and wildlife that inhabit it. Visiting in summer, you’ll find the biggest numbers of birds, with migrant birds from all over the world visit Denali to breed. The long days and short nights of summer make this a busy, and loud, time of year, with the sounds of songbirds filling the air at all hours of the day and night. As fall arrives, the migrators begin to lift their wings back home, leaving only around 25 species in Denali, who stay year around. Autumn brings the opportunity to see thousands of birds take flight to faraway lands such as South America, Africa, and Asia. In winter, you’ll get a chance to glimpse some of the most adaptable birds in the North, some who dig holes in the snow—for warmth, believe it or not. When spring springs back, as the park thaws, so return the migratory bird populations.
Whenever you visit, Denali boasts some truly incredible opportunities for birders of all ages and experience, so grab your binoculars and get out to see the incredible and diverse landscape.