wildlife

This photo shows humpack whales in Juneau. (Michael Penn /Juneau Empire File)
This photo shows humpack whales in Juneau. (Michael Penn /Juneau Empire File)
This marbled murrelet seabird was found in the waters of Auke Bay in January looking “stunned.” Volunteers took the bird to the Juneau Raptor Center where it was treated for likely head trauma and released back into the wild. (Courtesy Photo / Juneau Raptor Center)
This marbled murrelet seabird was found in the waters of Auke Bay in January looking “stunned.” Volunteers took the bird to the Juneau Raptor Center where it was treated for likely head trauma and released back into the wild. (Courtesy Photo / Juneau Raptor Center)
Staff members at the Alaska SeaLife Center near Seward attend to a harbor seal pup. This summer, one of the pups in the center's care came from Juneau. The seal received treatment at the center and was released into the wild in September. (Courtesy photo/Alaska SeaLife Center/Kaiti Chritz)
Staff members at the Alaska SeaLife Center near Seward attend to a harbor seal pup. This summer, one of the pups in the center's care came from Juneau. The seal received treatment at the center and was released into the wild in September. (Courtesy photo/Alaska SeaLife Center/Kaiti Chritz)
Rainbow, a Sitka black-tail deer now lives at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center after being found alone in the woods near Kruzof Island over the summer. Although Rainbow’s story has a happy ending, officials urge people who find animals not to touch or remove them. (Courtesy photo/Sarah Howard/Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center)
Rainbow, a Sitka black-tail deer now lives at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center after being found alone in the woods near Kruzof Island over the summer. Although Rainbow’s story has a happy ending, officials urge people who find animals not to touch or remove them. (Courtesy photo/Sarah Howard/Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center)
An American robin perches on a branch, with toes loosely curled. (Courtesy Photo / Bob Armstrong)

On the Trails: Why don’t birds fall off their perches?

A growing body of evidence suggests that birds have a second organ of equilibrium.

An American robin perches on a branch, with toes loosely curled. (Courtesy Photo / Bob Armstrong)
A male bar-tailed godwit near Prudhoe Bay during the summer breeding season. (Courtesy Photo / Zachary Pohlen)

Alaska Science Forum: Shorebirds depend on wee slivers of Alaska

By Ned Rozell Pencil-beaked shorebirds with the ability to stay airborne for a week — flying all the way from Alaska to New Zealand —… Continue reading

A male bar-tailed godwit near Prudhoe Bay during the summer breeding season. (Courtesy Photo / Zachary Pohlen)
Otis, the four-time Fat Bear Week champion, fishes at Katmai National Park on Sept. 16, 2021. (Photo courtesy of Lian Law, National Parks Service)
Otis, the four-time Fat Bear Week champion, fishes at Katmai National Park on Sept. 16, 2021. (Photo courtesy of Lian Law, National Parks Service)
Courtesy Photo/ Kaiti Grant, Alaska SeaLife Center 
The Alaska SeaLife Center admitted its first sea otter pup of the year last week.

Alaska SeaLife Center admits 1st otter pup of the year

Pup was found by family camping nearby.

Courtesy Photo/ Kaiti Grant, Alaska SeaLife Center 
The Alaska SeaLife Center admitted its first sea otter pup of the year last week.
This photo shows wild flowers at Eagle Beach. (Courtesy Photo / Kenneth Gill, gillfoto)

Wild Shots: Photos of Mother Nature in Alaska

Reader-submitted photos of Southeast Alaska.

This photo shows wild flowers at Eagle Beach. (Courtesy Photo / Kenneth Gill, gillfoto)
Iris, a baby Sitka black-tailed deer found on Kruzof Island, was rehomed by Alaska Department of Fish and Game and Alaska Wildlife Trooper personnel after being “rescued” over the weekend. (Courtesy photo / Corrine Ferguson)
Iris, a baby Sitka black-tailed deer found on Kruzof Island, was rehomed by Alaska Department of Fish and Game and Alaska Wildlife Trooper personnel after being “rescued” over the weekend. (Courtesy photo / Corrine Ferguson)
The vivid colors of male bluebirds result from structural features in the feather barbs, and males with more vivid colors father more chicks, with their own mates or with other females. (Courtesy Photo / Kerry Howard)

On the Trails: Tree sparrows and bluebirds

By Mary F. Willson For the Juneau Empire In the early part of April, there were sometimes two dozen mallards on my mostly icy home… Continue reading

The vivid colors of male bluebirds result from structural features in the feather barbs, and males with more vivid colors father more chicks, with their own mates or with other females. (Courtesy Photo / Kerry Howard)
This Sept. 2008 photo provided by the Center for Whale Research taken near Washington state’s San Juan Islands shows scientists looking for clues about the diet of the Pacific Northwest’s endangered orcas using a pool skimmer to collect the scales or other remains of salmon the whales had eaten. A long-term study published Wednesday, March 3, 2021, reaffirmed the importance of Chinook salmon to the whales even when they cruise the outer Pacific Coast, where the fish are harder to find. (Ken Balcomb / Center for Whale Research)

Study: Chinook salmon are key to Northwest orcas all year

That includes fish that spawn in California’s Sacramento River all the way to the Taku River.

This Sept. 2008 photo provided by the Center for Whale Research taken near Washington state’s San Juan Islands shows scientists looking for clues about the diet of the Pacific Northwest’s endangered orcas using a pool skimmer to collect the scales or other remains of salmon the whales had eaten. A long-term study published Wednesday, March 3, 2021, reaffirmed the importance of Chinook salmon to the whales even when they cruise the outer Pacific Coast, where the fish are harder to find. (Ken Balcomb / Center for Whale Research)
A bald eagle found near Montana Creek Road on Dec. 22 had to be euthanized due to injuries, visible here, received from a lead shot fired from a shotgun. The Fish and Wildlife Service is offering a reward for information on the shooter. (Courtesy photo / Juneau Raptor Center)

Authorities investigate fatal shooting of bald eagle

The otherwise healthy, adult bird had to be euthanized for its injuries.

A bald eagle found near Montana Creek Road on Dec. 22 had to be euthanized due to injuries, visible here, received from a lead shot fired from a shotgun. The Fish and Wildlife Service is offering a reward for information on the shooter. (Courtesy photo / Juneau Raptor Center)
The Juneau Bear Committee will be identifying and tagging trash cans that lack bear-resistant characteristics with these stickers the week of Aug. 31. (Courtesy art / Juneau Police Department)
The Juneau Bear Committee will be identifying and tagging trash cans that lack bear-resistant characteristics with these stickers the week of Aug. 31. (Courtesy art / Juneau Police Department)
In this undated photo provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, an airplane flies over caribou from the Porcupine Caribou Herd on the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in northeast Alaska.The Department of the Interior has approved an oil and gas leasing program within Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. The refuge is home to polar bears, caribou and other wildlife. Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt signed the Record of Decision, which will determine where oil and gas leasing will take place in the refuge’s coastal plain. (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)
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US approves oil, gas leasing plan for Alaska Wildlife refuge

By MARK THIESSEN Associated Press ANCHORAGE, Alaska — The Trump administration gave final approval Monday for a contentious oil and gas leasing plan on the… Continue reading

In this undated photo provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, an airplane flies over caribou from the Porcupine Caribou Herd on the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in northeast Alaska.The Department of the Interior has approved an oil and gas leasing program within Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. The refuge is home to polar bears, caribou and other wildlife. Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt signed the Record of Decision, which will determine where oil and gas leasing will take place in the refuge’s coastal plain. (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)
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Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File                                 A black bear sow and her cub walk along the Trail of Time at the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center. A lack of visitors to the area this year may have emboldened bears to explore surrounding areas, local experts said, although it’s hard to know for sure.

Are more bears wandering in residential areas? It’s hard to say

Less tourists and early-summer hunger could be pushing them into areas usually more crowded.

Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File                                 A black bear sow and her cub walk along the Trail of Time at the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center. A lack of visitors to the area this year may have emboldened bears to explore surrounding areas, local experts said, although it’s hard to know for sure.
A pair of bald eagles lay on the beach near Auke Bay after locking talons and falling from the sky on June 9, 2020, a somewhat common behavior. The Juneau Raptor Center has had an active spring, handling half a dozen calls about bald eagles in the last week and rescuing other birds as well. (Courtesy photo | Kevin Henderson)

It was a busy week for Juneau Raptor Center

Half a dozen bald eagles and other birds have needed help.

A pair of bald eagles lay on the beach near Auke Bay after locking talons and falling from the sky on June 9, 2020, a somewhat common behavior. The Juneau Raptor Center has had an active spring, handling half a dozen calls about bald eagles in the last week and rescuing other birds as well. (Courtesy photo | Kevin Henderson)