Home | About Us | How to Participate | Biodiversity Modules | Projects | Maps | News | Resources

GAP Analysis Predicted Distribution Map

Killdeer (Charadrius vociferus)

Species Code: CHVO

Highslide JS
Breeding Range Map
The green area shows the predicted habitats for breeding only.
© NatureMapping Program

+ enlarge map

Predicted breeding range

= Core Habitat
= Marginal Habitat


Killdeer photo

Fact Sheet: Basic (Grades K-6) | Advanced

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.

NatureMapping observations map   Map with Breeding 
Bird Atlas records
Observations | Historic Gap points

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


This species is abundant and widespread. The Killdeer is our most common breeding shorebird. It occurs in a number of non-forested habitats, including swales and coulees in sagebrush, farmland, grasslands, city park playing fields, residential lawns, gravel parking lots, and gravel roofs. The basic requirements for foraging are a sandy/gravelly substrate, and nearby wet or muddy areas. Killdeer generally avoid montane wetlands, but they can be found nesting as far up as Ross Lake in Whatcom County at 1600 feet, Trout Lake in Klickitat County at 1800 feet, and Rimrock Lake in Yakima County, which is at 2900 feet. Killdeer are widespread throughout eastern Washington, and are found in the northeast along most major river valleys. They do not generally occur in the large wheat fields of the Palouse, though they do occur in most wetlands and cities within this zone. In western Washington, they are common in farmlands and cities along the Puget Trough and west to Grays Harbor.

The core areas of use were all west-side zones below Silver Fir and east-side zones below the Sub-alpine Fir. In steppe zones, irrigated agriculture, all pastures, developed areas, wetlands, and steppe habitats were good. In the low west-side zones of the Puget-Willamette Trough, agriculture, developed areas, fresh water/wetlands, and open areas were good. In the other forested zones, fresh water/wetlands, agriculture, and development were good.

Records from the valleys of the Quinault and Queets Rivers in the Olympic Peninsula indicate possible breeders in appropriate habitats there. Their status is unknown in this region due to a lack of data, but suitable habitat does exist there. Despite this species' apparent abundance, Breeding Bird Survey data show significant population decreases of 7.8% per year from 1982 to 1991 and 3.4% per year from 1966 to 1991.

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