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Return of the Birds

An Alaska Success Story

Breeding tufted puffins and many other bird species are winging their way back to Hawadax Island in the Aleutian Islands after an eradication of invasive rats that had made the island uninhabitable for many native species.

A crew of biologists visited Hawadax Island in 2013 to monitor for signs of nature’s recovery five years after a successful project to eradicate invasive rats from the island.

Nature is rebounding on Hawadax Island. Biologists reported a fivefold increase in numbers of black oystercatcher nests.

Archeological studies have explored how Aleut people used birds on the now-uninhabited island and provided a long-term perspective on the its bird populations. This artifact will be housed at The Aleut Corporation after study.

Biologists visiting the island follow protocols designed to ensure the most accurate bird counts.

Snow geese on Hawadax Island.

Rock sandpiper.

Signs of recovery at Hawadax Island include five active bald eagle nests and two active peregrine falcon nests.

For the first time ever, tufted puffins were discovered to be breeding and nesting on Hawadax Island five years after the island restoration in 2008.

A wide-angle photograph of a cackling goose nest on the tundra habitat of Hawadax Island in Alaska’s Aleutian archipelago.

A Northern fulmar soars off the coast of Hawadax Island.

A green-winged teal chick on a freshwater pond on Hawadax Island confirms a successful nesting year.

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