FWS Beringian Seabird 2004

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Division of Migratory Bird Management

Dataset credit

Shawn W. Stephensen, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Division of Migratory Bird Management
David Irons, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Division of Migratory Bird Management


Primary contact Shawn Stephensen USFWS Division of Migratory Bird Management
Data entry Ei Fujioka Duke University



The Beringian Seabird Colony Catalog is a computerized, GIS-based database, maintained by the Division of Migratory Bird Management, United States Fish and Wildlife Service, in Anchorage, Alaska. It contains the locations and names of seabird breeding colonies in Alaska (AK) and Russia (RU), the species of birds that nest in each colony, and the numbers of each species.

The colony number consists of a map number and a site number. Map number (1 - 153) refers to a United States Geological Survey (USGS) 1:250,000 quadrangle, which is not the same as the official USGS map number. A site number refers to a specific colony and is not duplicated within the quadrangle. The site name is derived from an official name on USGS map, if one exists; otherwise a descriptive name was invented.


We count birds in some colonies (or in parts of the colonies) each summer. This tells us whether the birds' populations are healthy. If a population is getting smaller, we study it and try to learn what the problem is.

In the area that was affected by the Exxon Valdez oil spill, we study seabirds to learn whether they are recovering from the oil. We count the birds in winter and summer. We study how many eggs the birds lay and how many young birds they raise each summer. We also study how they find their food at sea.

We work with observer programs to learn how many birds are caught in fishing gear. This tells us whether seabird breeding populations are impacted by fisheries bycatch.

An earlier version of this catalog was published (see Sowls et al. 1978). Many data in the 1978 publication have been superseded by this current database, but it is still a helpful reference. For a recent description of this dataset, please refer to Stephensen and Irons (2003).

Supplemental information

[2020-10-01] The following invalid species names were corrected according to the Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS).
Sterna aleutica (176893) => Onychoprion aleuticus (824103)
Larus ridibundus (176835) => Chroicocephalus ridibundus (824041)
Caspian Tern: Sterna caspia (176924)) => Hydroprogne caspia (176935)
Larus brevirostris (176844) => Rissa brevirostris (176845)


Sowls, A.L., S.A. Hatch, and C.J. Lensink. 1978. Catalog of Alaskan seabird colonies. U.S. Fish and Wild. Serv., Biol. Services proj. FWS/OBS 78/78.



Attributes described below represent those in the original dataset provided by the provider.
All attributes are included in the downloadable file (CSV or ESRI File Geodatabase) for "Complete Set of Dataset".

Attributes in dataset

Attribute (table column)Description
surveydefinition not provided
linenodefinition not provided
mapnumberdefinition not provided
sitenumberdefinition not provided
statedefinition not provided
sitenamedefinition not provided
rectypedefinition not provided
yearYear of observation
dateObserved date
timeTime of observation
londefinition not provided
latdefinition not provided
longitudeLongitude of observation
latitudeLatitude of observation
speciesSpecies observed
nofudefinition not provided
aushdefinition not provided
ftspdefinition not provided
swspdefinition not provided
lespdefinition not provided
unspdefinition not provided
dccodefinition not provided
brcodefinition not provided
grcodefinition not provided
tecodefinition not provided
pecodefinition not provided
rfcodefinition not provided
uncodefinition not provided
coeidefinition not provided
bloydefinition not provided
megudefinition not provided
btgudefinition not provided
hegudefinition not provided
sbgudefinition not provided
gwgudefinition not provided
ghgudefinition not provided
glgudefinition not provided
gggudefinition not provided
bhgudefinition not provided
blkidefinition not provided
rlkidefinition not provided
sagudefinition not provided
ungudefinition not provided
cotedefinition not provided
artedefinition not provided
altedefinition not provided
catedefinition not provided
untedefinition not provided
dovedefinition not provided
comudefinition not provided
tbmudefinition not provided
unmudefinition not provided
blgudefinition not provided
pigudefinition not provided
spgudefinition not provided
unigdefinition not provided
mamudefinition not provided
anmudefinition not provided
caaudefinition not provided
paaudefinition not provided
leaudefinition not provided
whaudefinition not provided
craudefinition not provided
rhaudefinition not provided
unaudefinition not provided
tupudefinition not provided
hopudefinition not provided
unpudefinition not provided
unaldefinition not provided
tocodefinition not provided
tomudefinition not provided
birddefinition not provided
excludeddefinition not provided
oidUnique ID number (generated by SEAMAP)
Marine mammals0
Sea turtles0
Rays and sharks0
Other species528
Non spatial0
Non species-5,195
Date, Begin2004-07-01
Date, End2004-07-01
Temporal prec.100000
Latitude42.47 - 71.39
Longitude130.93 - 229.80
Coord. prec.4 decimal digits
Data typeHabitat survey
Traveled (km)0
Contr. through
Sharing policy CC-BY (All)
Shared with None
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