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GAP Analysis Predicted Distribution Map

Ruddy Duck (Oxyura jamaicensis)

Species Code: OXJA

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

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

This species is common in freshwater ponds, lakes, and slow-moving sloughs and rivers at lower elevations over much of eastern Washington. They are uncommon at low elevations in the southern Puget Trough of western Washington. In eastern Washington, they are found on the central Columbia Basin east through Palouse and north along the major river valleys in all northern counties. They are generally absent west of the Columbia River in Chelan and Kittitas Counties and not known to breed throughout most of western Yakima and Klickitat Counties. The confirmed breeding records in western Washington are limited to King and Pierce Counties in the southern Puget Trough

Good habitats in the core areas of use included all freshwater bodies and wetlands in eastern Washington in all steppe zones in which it occurs, and in the Ponderosa Pine zone. In western Washington, the Woodland/Prairie Mosaic and Puget Sound Douglas-fir zones were core areas of use, limited to the areas mentioned above. Because most of the water bodies in which Ruddy Ducks nest were mapped, we did not include other habitats as smaller pockets of habitat that may be suitable for them; but Ruddy Ducks probably also occur in some of the unmapped wetlands.

Ruddy Ducks are ubiquitous in the central parts of the Columbia Basin. The elevation limits for this species in northeastern Washington are uncertain. Confirmed records come from many of the major river valleys, including the valleys along the Okanogan, Methow, and Colville Rivers. Records are generally uncommon above these rivers, but observers are scarce in these areas. Another curiosity is their apparent absence from the western part of the Columbia Basin since small ponds exist in these regions, with vegetation similar to other parts of the steppe region, especially Toppenish National Wildlife Refuge, around Ellensburg, and near Wenatchee. Their nesting needs are not known to be very specific. They only require emergent vegetation such as rushes or cattails and sometimes build floating nest platforms.

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