Birds of the Yukon Territory
Release Date:01 Nov 2007

Birds of the Yukon Territory

UBC Press

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, the book 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 the book, 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 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.


Yukon Birdlife

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

Regular Species

Order Gaviiformes

  Family Gaviidae: Loons

Order Podicipediformes

  Family Podicipedidae: Grebes

Order Pelecaniformes

  Family Phalacrocoracidae: Cormorants

Order Ciconiiformes

  Family Ardeidae: Herons

Order Anseriformes

  Family Anatidae: Geese, Swans, and Ducks

Order Falconiformes

  Family Accipitridae: Osprey, Hawks, and Eagles

  Family Falconidae: Falcons

Order Galliformes

  Family Phasianidae: Grouse

Order Gruiformes

  Family Rallidae: Rails and Coots

  Family Gruidae: Cranes

Order Charadriiformes

  Family Charadriidae: Plovers

  Family Scolopacidae: Sandpipers, Phalaropes, and Allies

  Family Laridae: Skuas, Gulls, and Terns

  Family Alcidae: Auks and Murres

Order Columbiformes

  Family Columbidae: Pigeons and Doves

Order Strigiformes

  Family Strigidae: Owls

Order Caprimulgiformes

  Family Caprimulgidae: Goatsuckers

Order Apodiformes

  Family Trochilidae: Hummingbirds

Order Coraciiformes

  Family Alcedinidae: Kingfishers

Order Piciformes

  Family Picidae: Woodpeckers

Order Passeriformes

  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 ames

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

Literature Cited

About the Authors

Authors and Artists of the Regular Species Accounts



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