KTNA Studio – Dave Totten, artist

Photo by Deb Wessler

Photo by Dora Miller

KTNA Studio

KTNA On Air Studio, Jan 2013

Photo by Deb Wessler

Photo by James Trump

Winter Black-capped Chickadee

winter chickadee

Photo by Robin Song

Fish Lake morning

Fish Lake morning

photo: Robin Song


Susitna Writer’s Voice–StarDate Susitna, by Kathleen Fleming

Monday, February 15, 2016

Kathleen for StarDate

The three, (not five), planets in our morning sky,

an upcoming near miss of the Moon and a star, and other astro-info

about our unique perspective on the heavens above.

Susitna Writer’s Voice– “The Murre Invasion”, part two, by Robin Song

Monday, January 18, 2016


I left off my last story- which was ‘part one’ of the “Murre Invasion”- heading back to my temporary residence in Willow after having spent December 30th in Talkeetna. Billy Fitzgerald and Tod Marder had taken some rescued Murres by snowmachine to an open lead of water in the Su, about a mile north of the Talkeetna river confluence. Originally I had been asked to take Murres to the Alaska Wild Bird Treatment Center in Houston, but because the birds were healthy and open water had been located, it was decided to release them back to the wild. Being pelagic diving birds with legs set well back on their bodies, they need water in order to take flight, although, in just the right conditions, they have been observed taking off from land, but it’s extremely difficult for them. Murre beside the Parks @ Caswell Lodgesafely in box


Susitna Writer’s Voice — “The Murre Invasion” , part one, by Robin Song

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Photos by Billy FitzGerald

Last October I noticed a posting in our local Northern Susitna Birders group on the Internet about a sighting of a grounded Common Murre in the Talkeetna area. I thought that was odd. A seabird so far inland? What was that about? Over November and into December, a few more sporadic sightings were posted. I was intrigued.


Another posting on December nineteenth: Starving Murres were being found all over South Central. Some were taken to the Bird Treatment and Learning Center in Anchorage, rehabbed and released in salt water. Dozens of Murres were reported in Seward- some washed up dead on shore, having starved. What was going on?IMG_8179 (more…)

Susitna Writer’s Voice- “Wasilla Eagle’s Nest”, by Robin Song

Monday, January 4, 2016

In the summer of 2014 I visited a Bald Eagle’s nest I know of in Wasilla. I’d been going to visit a nest site a few hundred yards north of it for years, but that nest had been abandoned and storms had taken it apart. Now a new nest had been built in a cottonwood and a new pair of eagles was raising their first clutch of two eaglets. I spent an hour photographing the birds, that first visit, with the dad sitting on a branch above the nest, waiting for his mate to return with food for the two hungry youngsters. I was just about to leave when the eaglets started calling in their high-pitched, squeaky voices, denoting they had spotted mom. I swung the camera up just in time to catch her coming in, a salmon clutched in her talons.

use this for sure--080614,mom returns with headless salmon

use this for sure--mom feeds fish to three eaglets,0626

Dad Eagle defending nest,060515



Susitna Writer’s Voice– “Osprey Nest” by Robin Song

Monday, December 21, 2015

My last story involved a nest of Blackpoll Warblers whose nestlings did not survive to fledge. I wanted to have this story be about two nests I observed that same summer who had spectacular survivals. Because there is a lot to tell about each family, I will divide it into two segments.
3-mom returns to nest after sending dad to get food
052615-dad lands on the yearling
dad leaves yrlng,joins female on nest

This first story is about an Osprey nest located atop an A T & T tower near the Capitol Raceway, west of the Parks highway, at mile 75. It is a fairly recent nest, having been there only a few years. I noticed it three years ago, and pull off the observe its progress whenever I make a trip to Wasilla. I noted this year that someone had applied spikes to the horizontal bars atop the tower, no doubt to dissuade the birds from building their nest there. However, the birds do not use the horizontal bars. Rather, they perch on the tall vertical poles at each corner, which gives them the best lookout in all directions. The nest was built in the center of the tower, where there were no spikes. The birds drop down onto the nest from the poles. So whomever erected all those spikes went to a lot of trouble for nothing.



Susitna Writer’s Voice–“Lessons from a Nest”, by Robin Song

Sunday, November 8, 2015


This story does not have a “…and they lived happily ever after” ending. It’s more in the vein of “harsh reality”, so please be forewarned. I want to tell the story because of what I learned from the birds involved. I wish to honor their amazing dedication and tenacity in the face of overwhelming challenges.


Susitna Writer’s Voice–“View from the Kitchen Window”, by Grete Perkins

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Grete Perkins and John Baker

A look at the change of the season in September 2004,

after a summer a lot like the past one.

Susitna Writer’s Voice–“Rainwalk”, by Deborah Brocke

Sunday, September 6, 2015


The special rewards of walking in nature on a rainy day.

Susitna Writer’s Voice–Robin’s Birdathon, 2015

Monday, May 18, 2015



Talkeetna resident Robin Song tells the story of her participation

in this year’s Talkeetna-Trapper Creek Birdathon.




It’s a remarkable thing, to me, that every Birdathon is different. It’s held on the first Friday and Saturday of May each year, in the same fifteen-mile radius, and yet it is unpredictable. And that’s what makes it fun.

I had invited a newcomer to the group, Maureen, to join my long-time birding partner-Richie-and me, and I picked her up at her trail head at 5:30 Friday evening. We arrived at the pullout at the same time and noted a Grey Jay in a spruce, watching us and my dogs. We couldn’t put it on our species list yet, as Bird-A-Thon starts at 6 o’ clock. We felt sure we’d see another ‘Camp Robber’ during the 24-hour birdathon. (more…)