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Species Code: ANCL
Breeding Range Map
Metadata (Data about data or how the map was made)Map with Breeding Bird Atlas records
The Northern Shoveler is common in east-side freshwater ponds and wetlands at low elevation. Most common in the central Columbia Basin, east to the channeled scablands, and north to Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge. Uncommon farther north in river valleys, uncommon breeder in the Okanogan and Methow valleys. Common in western Washington at low elevations of the Puget Trough. Shovelers need shallow areas for foraging.
In eastern Washington, steppe zones were core and the Ponderosa Pine zone was peripheral. In western Washington, the Puget Sound Douglas-fir and Woodland/Prairie Mosaic zones were core. In all zones, fresh water/wetlands were good habitat. In western Washington, where Northern Shovelers are often associated with small wetlands below our mapping resolution in open areas, low density development, agriculture, and clearings were also contingently suitable habitat.
Some curious inconsistencies exist in the distribution of the Northern Shoveler. Small numbers in the Methow and Okanogan valleys suggest a need for warmer areas on the east side, yet possible/probable breeding records exist from the southern Pend Oreille River valley and from the Twin Lakes (Ferry County-Colville Indian Reservation). These areas are higher and cooler than the Okanogan and Methow valleys. A possible explanation (and the one used for this model) is that at higher elevations, this species is utilizing marginal habitat and is therefore sparsely and locally distributed. Also, this species may prefer slightly alkaline waters which are more prevalent at lower elevations in eastern Washington. At higher elevations (in less alkaline water), this species may still be found, but in marginal habitat. Many west-side birds are summering non-breeders.
Translated from the Washington Gap Analysis Bird Volume by Uchenna Bright
Text edited by Gussie Litwer
Webpage designed by Dave Lester