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Species Code: RALI
Breeding Range Map
Metadata (Data about data or how the map was made)Map with Breeding Bird Atlas records
This species is fairly common in freshwater marshes at lower elevations on both sides of the Cascade crest. In western Washington, they occur along the entire Puget Trough and the San Juan Islands, and west to Ocean Shores. They occur in lesser numbers in brackish marshes. In eastern Washington, they are found throughout the Columbia Basin, Okanogan valley, and north following major river valleys. They will occupy small marshes created by agricultural runoff.
The core areas of use were the Puget Sound Douglas-fir, Woodland/Prairie Mosaic, Western Hemlock, Sitka Spruce, Grand Fir, Interior Douglas-fir, Ponderosa Pine, and all steppe zones within its range limits. Fresh water/wetlands were good and estuarine grasslands were adequate. Agricultural areas in west-side zones, which are often low, flat valleys and interspersed with creeks and marshes were included knowing there may be smaller pockets of habitat suitable for the Virginia Rail depending upon the availability of suitable wetlands.
Washington breeders can be found in a variety of freshwater wetland situations. They are often found in the company of Soras, though Virginia Rails tend to require more water and lower elevations than Soras. Typically, emergent vegetation such as cattails or purple loosestrife are present in wetlands suitable for this species. They are generally absent from the higher-elevation moist meadows that Soras can utilize.
Translated from the Washington Gap Analysis Bird Volume by Uchenna Bright
Text edited by Gussie Litwer
Webpage designed by Dave Lester