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GAP Analysis Predicted Distribution Map

Long-eared Owl (Asio otus)

Species Code: ASOT

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

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Predicted breeding range

= Core Habitat
= Marginal Habitat


Long-eared owl photo

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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 uncommon in eastern Washington, nesting in cliffs and riparian areas (in old tree nests; chiefly magpie nests). They are rare in western Washington, with three recent sites: Drayton Harbor/Blaine, Lake Terrell (both in Whatcom County), and along the Skagit River.

Steppe zones, plus the Ponderosa Pine zone in the northeast, were the core areas of use. In steppe zones and in forest zone fragments within the Columbia Basin region, all habitats except development (but including parks) were good. In the Ponderosa Pine zone in the northeast, all habitats except development and forests were good. No habitat was modeled in western Washington.

Washington breeders represent the western subspecies A. o. tuftsi. In eastern Washington, this species is fairly well distributed in the appropriate habitats. It nests in riparian strips and windbreaks (wherever large trees are concentrated), in non-forested landscapes, and forages over the agricultural and shrubs-steppe areas of this region. Long-eared Owls may be dependent on the presence of old magpie nests in willows, Russian Olive (Elaeagnus angustifolia), and occasionally conifers. In western Washington, it is irregular and occurring very sparsely in riparian areas. There were only three west-side breeding records during the BBA period: two in Whatcom County, and one in Skagit County. Long-eared Owl distribution in far eastern Washington is uncertain due to the scarcity of nesting records. An unusual record in the Blue Mountains was from a pair noted near the Clearwater Lookout in Garfield County.

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