From magnificent bald eagles to tiny hummingbirds, nearly 500 species of birds can be found in Alaska. Spring migration brings millions of birds north, ready to take advantage of the long summer days to mate and raise their young while food is plentiful before flying back south for the winter. April, May and June are the best months to see these travelers passing through or laying claim to summer territories. Many Alaska communities have at least one birding festival to celebrate their migratory visitors, or you can take a guided tour with a professional guide who'll help you identify rare species and snag the best photos. Look for raptors soaring in mountainous areas, shorebirds wading along the coasts, and songbirds calling from the trees. Don't forget about the seabirds, either: Species like cormorants, murres, auklets, kittiwakes and the clownish, colorful puffin nest in sheer cliffside colonies along Alaska's southern and western coastline.

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