Birds of Bylot Island and Adjacent Baffin Island, Northwest Territories, Canada, 1979 To 1997

  • Denis Lepage
  • David N. Nettleship
  • Austin Reed
Keywords: arctic birds, avifauna, avian distribution, Baffin Island, Bylot Island


Observations of birds in the Bylot Island region from 1979 to 1997, with emphasis on the southwest part of the island each summer since 1989, revealed an avifauna composed of 63 species, of which 35 were breeding. Thirteen species are new records for the region, including one for the Northwest Territories (black-headed gull, Larus ridibundus) and two for the Canadian Arctic Archipelago (killdeer, Charadrius vociferus; mew gull, Larus canus). Two species, Canada goose (Brant canadensis) and red knot (Calidris canutus), were also confirmed as breeders for the first time in the region. A summary of these avifaunal observations, along with a review of previous observations made in the region, allows changes in population size and status of individual species to be identified. These records combined with those from earlier studies give a total of 74 species for the Bylot Island region, 45 confirmed as breeders. This makes the avian community in the area one of the most diverse known north of 70° N latitude in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago.