When birders think of Attu, the many Asian species and first North American records that have been found on the island are the first thing that come to mind. Since we began visiting the island in 2010, we’ve found our share of those birds: the first accepted North American record of Solitary Snipe, the fifth North American record of White-throated Needletail, Red-flanked Bluetail, Dark-sided and Gray-streaked Flycatchers, and Gray Wagtail to name a few.
But since we use a boat to get to the island, we also get to see huge numbers of seabirds. On every trip to date, we’ve encountered Short-tailed Albatrosses, an increasing but still globally-rare species, and large numbers of Whiskered Auklets, one of the most difficult to see species in the alcid family due to its limited range. We’ve also seen Mottled Petrel two out of three years.
The following photo galleries are primarily from our Attu trips, 2010 through 2013. Some of the alcid photos are from pelagic trips we’ve run immediately after the Attu trips, but they’re from Little Tanaga Strait, a place that the Attu trips visit as well.