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GAP Analysis Predicted Distribution Map

Black Tern (Chlidonias niger)

Species Code: CHNI

This is an "at risk" species

Click to enlarge Range map

= Core Habitat
= Marginal Habitat

Breeding Range Map
The green area shows the predicted habitats for breeding only. The habitats were identified using 1991 satellite imagery, Breeding Bird Atlas (BBA), other datasets and experts throughout the state, as part of the Washington Gap Analysis Project. Habitats used during non-breeding months and migratory rest-stops were not mapped.

Metadata (Data about data or how the map was made)

Click to enlarge distribution map

Map with Breeding Bird Atlas records

Other maps & Information:
  • Breeding Bird Atlas
  • NatureMapping observations
    during breeding season
  • NatureMapping observations
    throughout the year

This species is uncommon on freshwater ponds, lakes, and wetlands in eastern Washington, mostly east of the Okanogan and Columbia Rivers. In some years, they also occur in Klickitat County at Conboy Lake National Wildlife Refuge.

All freshwater wetlands and water bodies were good habitat. The core areas of use included the steppe zones within its range limits, all forest zones below Sub-alpine Fir in northeastern Washington, and very locally in the Ponderosa Pine and Interior Douglas-fir zones in Klickitat County.

Washington breeders belong to the New World subspecies C. n. surinamensis. Black Terns are more common in the northeast than elsewhere in the state, with hundreds of them at Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge. During migration, they can be found in freshwater wetlands throughout eastern Washington. Breeding birds are more common in the Three-tip Sage and Ponderosa Pine zones than in the hotter and drier Central Arid Steppe. Through many sightings come from the Potholes area, in Grant and Adams Counties, Black Terns are less common as breeders there, and do not breed in the very arid and hot lower Columbia Basin. In northeastern counties, Black Terns breed in major river valleys and in suitable habitats, probably up to at least 3000 feet.

Translated from the Washington Gap Analysis Bird Volume by Uchenna Bright
Text edited by Gussie Litwer
Webpage designed by Dave Lester