Alaska Fish & Wildlife News
December 2023

Studying Ringed Seals in Winter
with the Help of Detection Dogs

By Riley Woodford

Ringed seals live a secretive life beneath the snow-covered landscape of Prudhoe Bay in winter. They catch fish and invertebrate prey in frigid Arctic Ocean waters and haul out to rest in icy lairs hidden beneath snow drifts. They create and maintain breathing holes and access holes – vertical watery tunnels through the sea ice as much as two meters thick – allowing them to use habitat both on and under sea ice during the winter.

Wildlife researchers are documenting how these ...   Ringed Seals Article Continued

Downy and Hairy Woodpeckers

By Sanaa Siddiqi

Downy and Hairy woodpeckers are among my favorite visitors to the bird feeder. Their distinct black-and-white plumage and dappling was always a gorgeous sight, usually accompanied by their tweek-tweek-tweek call. In particular, a parent and grown nestling were visiting regularly. I say grown nestling, because for a teenager, that bird was hefty; the parents – both a female and male would rotate roles – would be barely clinging to the bird feeder while frantically feeding a voraciously ...   Woodpeckers Article Continued