Year of 2017

Ground nest in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska

Perhaps when you think of a bird’s nest in spring, full of eggs waiting to hatch, you think of the safety of tree branches, where fewer predators can easily get to the chicks. But many species of birds are ground-nesters. They’ve adapted and evolved over time to build a nest, lay eggs, and fledge the chicks at ground level. If you’re hiking in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska, where this photo was taken, step lightly.

The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is a national wildlife refuge in northeastern Alaska, United States. It consists of 19,286,722 acres in the Alaska North Slope region. It is the largest National Wildlife Refuge in the country, slightly larger than the Yukon Delta National Wildlife Refuge. The refuge is administered from offices in Fairbanks.
Established: 1960
Area: 30,136 sq miles (78,051 km²)
Managed by: United States Fish and Wildlife Service