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GAP Analysis Predicted Distribution Map

Long-billed Curlew (Numenius americanus)

Species Code: NUAM

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 fairly common in grassland and shrub savannas of eastern Washington. They were found throughout the Columbia Basin, and north through the Okanogan valley, but not in the Methow valley. The highest numbers were seen in the central Columbia Basin in Grant, Adams, Kittitas, Yakima, Benton, Lincoln, and Franklin Counties. Where shrubs are present, they nest in large grassy patches between shrub-dominated areas.

Good habitat in the core areas of use included sparse vegetation, grassland, and shrub savanna in all steppe zones within its range limits.

The recent history of the Long-billed Curlew is fairly well documented. In 1860, they were reported as abundant near Yakima, which is an area they currently inhabit in substantial numbers. After that, reports dwindle, and curlews were often referred to as rare and unusual. At the same time, their geographic distribution was decreasing due to conversion of grassland to agriculture, especially in the Palouse. Very few recent records come from this region, though there was a report in 1953 that reported them in Sprague, Prescott, and Dusty; another report discovered nesting birds at Sprague Lake, where they are still found. Since protection from hunting was imposed, the status of the Long-billed Curlew has rebounded to that of a fairly common breeder in the region, though its geographic distribution is smaller than its historical extent due to the decrease in available grasslands. A census of the Yakima Training Center in recent years revealed 22 pairs on an area of 312,000 acres.

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