Home is where the birds are.
5th Annual Arctic Refuge Virtual Bird Festival
May 10 -12, 2023
Day 1: Science
Day 2: Art
Day 3: Culture
Ghost Bird of the North
What happened to the Gray-headed Chickadee in Alaska? Once relatively common throughout its remote Alaskan range, no one has documented this chickadee in Alaska since 2017, when it was documented in Arctic Refuge. Learn about its history in Alaska, the threats it faces, and what scientists are doing to understand the status of this species.
We hope you enjoy this presentation & art demo by our feature artist, Francis Vallejo!
Illustrating the Arctic
Virtual Presentation and Art Demo
Hailing from Detroit, Francis Vallejo is an award-winning American artist and the 2022 Arctic National Wildlife Refuge Resident Artist. Francis’ works have been exhibited in major national publications, art galleries, and museums.
Thanks for tuning in!
A short film by Rachel Heckerman following Francis' experience in Arctic Refuge's Canning River Bird Camp.
Send a message to Katrina Liebich for a chance to receive a 25 page 'zine created by Francis Vallejo that illustrates his experience in the Arctic Refuge Canning River Bird Camp.
Did You Know?
Each year, millions of birds die when they collide with windows. Reflective or transparent glass is often invisible to them.
Create patterns on reflective glass surfaces (multiple markings 2-4 inches apart are recommended)
Install external screens on windows
Close blinds or curtains
Move interior plants away from windows
The danger zone where birds can generate enough momentum to make a window strike fatal is about three to 25 feet away from windows. Place feeders outside this zone.
Meet the Artists
The above designs are by Illustration Majors at The College for Creative Studies in Detroit, Michigan - a premier art college founded in 1906 with 22 undergraduate and 7 graduate programs.
Tripp is a currently a student at CCS majoring in illustration and minoring animation, as well being a active student on campus, as illustration tutor, FYE leader in wellness as well taking part in creating a sticker line for Watson Con for the school activity board! When it comes to being active outside of school, she takes part in Sister Empowering Detroit. As well in creating holiday themed costumes, goody bags for classmates and staff.
Aaron Murray AKA Cicada Nymph is a queer tattoo artist and recent Illustration graduate of the College for Creative Studies. Aaron tattoos at All-Star Tattoo Co. in Livonia, MI, and focuses on client experience and comfort while bringing people’s visions to life. Aaron works in a primarily illustrative, black-and-grey, tattooing style. His work focuses on natural subject matter like plants, animals, and bugs, mostly inspired by field guides and his growing collection of oddities.
Hello there! My name is Andrew Tripp and I am a greeting card illustrator and stationery designer. As I continuously develop my own hopes for the future of my art and what I can do with it, I strive to expand people’s awareness of the importance of local wildlife like birds and honey bees. My designs range from heavily detailed digital paintings to goofy little marker drawings, but they never fail to contain a little piece of who I am.
My name is Shawnee Geletka, and I’m a traveling illustrator currently based in Detroit. I graduated with a BFA in Illustration from the College for Creative Studies in 2023. Since then, I have been traveling to different cities across the world to develop my illustration skills. I have a focus on editorial and publishing illustration, all done traditionally with pen and ink. My illustrations focus on the serious, weird, and surreal, and I tend to draw most of my inspiration from nature. I hope you enjoy my work!
Mary is an illustrator and metalworker from Lapeer, Michigan, and currently based in Detroit. She plans to receive her BFA from the College for Creative Studies in Detroit in 2023, with a major in illustration and a minor in crafts. She works as a multimedia artist, preferring to work with paint, ink, and charcoal and bringing work to a digital finish. Her greatest inspirations come from her childhood love for epic fantasy and gothic music, reflected in her first dark fantasy graphic novel and her metal props.
Corina is a Michigan-based visual development and concept artist for the entertainment industries. Known for her exploration of color, she looks to explore the most engaging and effective palettes for each project. While in college, Corina has founded and maintained one of the more popular clubs on campus. Additionally, she is passionate about teaching and exploring various mediums and approaches to mark making.
River Refuge in the Arctic
Remote Porcupine River is an ancient home to migratory birds
“Che-lek,” the harsh and clipped song called back. “Che-lek.” And then a second call, across the river. Two yellow-bellied flycatchers, songbirds that winter far to the south in Central America, at home in the Arctic for their summer nesting season in the far northern boreal forest...
Thank you Panelists!
Great Migrations: Importance of the Arctic for Hemispheric Bird Migration
Birds that breed in the Alaskan Arctic disperse along five major global flyways, traveling as far as Asia, Australia, South America, and even Antarctica! Join migration expert panelists as they discuss the innovations in migration science and data visualization that allow us to study, analyze, and tell the stories of Alaska's incredible avian migrants.
A recording of the presentations is landing soon!
Melanie is the Program Director for the Bird Migration Explorer at Audubon's Migratory Bird Initiative
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service panelist
Rick is the Shorebird Coordinator for the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service's Alaska Migratory Birds Office
The Cornell Lab of Ornithology panelist
Andrew is a Senior Research Associate in the Center for Avian Population Studies at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.
Voices of the Arctic
Listen online May 12th
A few summers ago, Audubon Public Lands and Climate Change intern Julia Johnston travelled to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to interview local Iñupiat and Gwich’in elders. They spoke about climate change, visions for the Refuge, and—of course—birds. Some of those interviewed live in or near the Refuge, while others told stories passed from family and friends. Listen as Robert Thompson, Sarah James, Nutaaq Simmonds, and Victoria Hykes-Steere share incredible stories and insights from one of America’s most wild and remote landscapes.
Host: Julia Johnson, former Audubon Alaska Public Lands and Climate Change Fellow and 2022 University of Michigan graduate.