Wrangel Island, an isolated landmass in the Arctic Ocean, is home to a wide variety of wildlife, including numerous species of birds. Located north of Russia and just 140 kilometers from Alaska, this remote wilderness area provides important nesting and feeding grounds for many bird populations.
With its rugged terrain, harsh climate, and limited human disturbance, Wrangel Island is an ideal habitat for a diverse range of avian species. From the massive eagle and soaring white-tailed sea eagle to the small and delicate snow bunting, the island is a haven for bird enthusiasts and a crucial sanctuary for many threatened and endangered species.
In this article, we will explore the many fascinating bird species that inhabit this unique corner of the world.
1. Pelagic cormorant
The pelagic cormorant, also known as Baird's cormorant or violet-green cormorant, is a small member of the Phalacrocoracidae family and is often referred to as the Pelagic Shag.
It inhabits coastal areas and open oceans throughout Northern Pacific regions. These birds are relatively small in size with a dark greyish body and bright blue eyes which can be seen from far away distances.
Their wingspan extends up to two feet wide allowing them to glide through air currents at rapid speeds while they hunt fish for food.
They have an impressive diving ability that allows them to plunge underwater depths reaching 30 meters deep.
The pelagic cormorants are quite social creatures who live together in large flocks during both summer and winter months providing safety in numbers when hunting prey beneath the waves of their ocean home.Scientific classification:
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2. Common eider
The Common Eider is a large sea-duck that inhabits coasts of Europe, North America and eastern Siberia.
It breeds in arctic regions as well as some northern temperate climates but travels further south during the winter months to form flocks with other ducks in temperate zones.
These birds are easily recognised by their characteristic black and white markings on their wings which can be seen when they take flight.
They have light brown bodies topped off with bright yellowish coloured heads making them quite striking creatures.
The eiders feed mainly on molluscs such as clams, mussels, snails and worms found at the bottom of shallow coastal waters or tidal flats.
Their diet helps improve water quality through natural filtering processes carried out by foraging for food underwater which benefits local marine ecosystems immensely.Scientific classification:
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3. Glaucous gull
The Glaucous Gull is a majestic species of bird which can be found in the Arctic regions of the Northern Hemisphere.
It has an impressive wingspan, being one of the largest gulls in existence and second only to The Great Black-Backed Gull.
During winter months they migrate southwards towards coasts along Holarctic shores where their presence is seen as far down as South Africa.
Their genus name 'Larus', from Latin origins, likely refers to some kind of seabird while its specific name 'hyperboreus' derives from Greek for "northern", referencing Ancient Greeks who lived near what became known as North Pole.
This stunning avian species makes them an unforgettable sight on any journey northward or through coastal areas throughout much of Europe and Asia.Scientific classification:
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The Brent Goose, also known as the Brant or Bernicla goose, is a small species of waterfowl belonging to the genus Branta. It has three subspecies that live along temperate coastlines and breed on high-Arctic tundras.
This species can be identified by its short stubby bill, which measures between 22-26 inches long and 42-48 across their wingspan when fully grown.
They typically weigh between 0.88 - 2 lbs depending on location and seasonally changing diets they may consume while in flight or at rest stops during migration routes they take annually from one region to another.
The Brent Oilfield was named after this bird due to its abundance in certain areas near bodies of water where it would gather for safety during migrations over land formations such as mountains ranges or other geographical features that could otherwise become difficult obstacles if not avoided altogether.Scientific classification:
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5. Snow bunting
The snow bunting is a small and colourful passerine bird found in the Arctic regions of the northern hemisphere.
With its bright white feathers, black markings on its wings and tail, it stands out amongst other birds that inhabit these cold climates.
This species has adapted well to surviving in this harsh environment; they nest under boulders or rocks so their eggs are shielded from predators and blizzards alike.
They feed mainly on insects during summer months but switch to seeds when winter arrives as they seek food sources which will not freeze over with ice.
The snow bunting is an important part of the local ecosystem due to providing sustenance for larger animals such as foxes and owls who rely upon them for survival throughout wintertime.Scientific classification:
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6. Snow goose
The snow goose is a species of goose native to North America, recognizable by its white or dark plumage. It belongs to the genus Anser, also known as the "gray goose".
Snow geese breed north of the timberline in Greenland, Canada and Alaska - places with harsh climates that would seem inhospitable for such birds.
Yet they thrive here due to their migration pattern; when winter arrives they fly southwards along two major routes towards warmer climates like California and Mexico where food sources are more plentiful.
Although these graceful waterfowls have adapted well to human activity near some parts of their range, hunting still takes its toll on them so it's important we do our part in protecting this species from extinction.Scientific classification:
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7. King eider
The King Eider is a large sea duck found in the Northern Hemisphere Arctic coasts of Northeast Europe, North America and Asia.
It spends most of its year near coastal marine ecosystems at high latitudes before migrating to tundra for breeding season from June to July.
During this time they lay four to seven eggs in grass-lined nests on the ground with downy feathers as additional insulation.
These beautiful birds are renowned for their attractive plumage which consists of shades of white and black, often with bright orange or green patches around the head region.
They have wide wings that help them fly through long migrations each year while also providing protection against predators like foxes during nesting season.
The King Eider is an impressive species that has adapted well to life within its cold habitat over centuries.Scientific classification:
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Guillemots, also known as murres or turr, are seabirds belonging to the genus Uria. They have brown or black plumage during breeding season and are medium-sized.
These birds breed on the coasts of the northern Atlantic and Pacific oceans. The name "guillemot" is commonly used in Britain.
The French zoologist Mathurin Jacques Brisson introduced the genus Uria in 1760.
Guillemots are known for their ability to dive deep in search of fish, their primary food source.
They are also known for their unique calls, which are used to communicate with their mates and offspring.
Overall, guillemots are fascinating birds that are an important part of marine ecosystems.Scientific classification:
|Genus||Uria Brisson, 1760|
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9. Long-tailed jaeger
The long-tailed jaeger is a predatory seabird known for its slender, pointed wings and long, forked tail. It belongs to the skua family and is often referred to as a "hunter" due to its hunting prowess.
The bird's name derives from the Faroese name for the great skua, which is also called the "skúgvur".
The long-tailed jaeger is usually found in Arctic regions and is known to migrate long distances. This bird is particularly skilled at robbing other birds of their catches and is often seen chasing gulls and terns.
The long-tailed jaeger has a brownish-grey plumage with a black cap and collar. It is a beautiful and impressive bird, known for its incredible flying skills and its tenacity when it comes to hunting.Scientific classification:
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10. Large white-headed gulls
Large white-headed gulls are a type of bird that belong to the genus Larus. They are found worldwide, but the majority of their species diversity is in the Northern Hemisphere.
These birds are well-known and abundant in their ranges. In the past, most gulls were placed in this genus, but now it is known that this arrangement is not accurate.
This has led to the resurrection of other genera like Ichthyaetus, Chroicocephalus, and Leucophaeu.
The large white-headed gull is a majestic bird that can be easily recognized by its white head and large size. They are powerful fliers and often forage in coastal areas, nesting on cliffs or rock ledges.
Despite their abundance, large white-headed gulls face threats like habitat loss and pollution, which affect their populations in many areas.Scientific classification:
|Genus||Larus Linnaeus, 1758|