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Bird Checklists of the United States

Wildlife of Northeast Washington

Colville National Forest,
Little Pend Oreille National Wildlife Refuge,
and other public wildlands

Colville, Washington


The Colville National Forest (CNF) covers about 1,096,000 acres (443,545 ha) in Ferry, Stevens and Pend Oreille counties. From the Canadian border, the CNF extends southward for up to 60 miles (97 km), although west of the Columbia River, the CNF shares its southern boundary with the Colville Confederated Tribes Indian Reservation. Elevations range from about 1,800 feet (549 m) to Gypsy Peak's summit at 7,309 feet (2,229 m). The CNF is divided into 5 Ranger Districts, with offices in Colville, Kettle Falls, Newport Republic and Sullivan Lake. One wilderness, the Salmo-Priest, lies in the northeast corner of the CNF.

The Little Pend Oreille National Wildlife Refuge takes its name from the river that flows through its northern portion. It was established in 1939 as one of the early game refuges, and now covers about 40,000 acres (16,200 ha). Elevations range from 1,800 feet (549 m) on the western lowlands of the Little Pend Oreille River Valley to Olson Peak's 5,610-foot (1,710 m) summit on the eastern boundary.

Washington State and the Bureau of Land Management also manage several thousand acres of publicly-owned land in the area. Many of these parcels are nestled among the private lands in the valleys and towards the southeastern end of the area. Much of the private land can be viewed from the roads or after obtaining a landowner's permission.


The area contains 2 mountain ranges, oriented north-south: the Kettle River Range and the Selkirk Crest. Numerous glacial valleys cut the main ridges and diversify the topography, which ranges from rounded mountain slopes at lower elevations to high peaks and basins at about 7,300 feet (2,225 m). Streams, rivers, bogs, marshes, and small and large lakes are found throughout the area. Three distinctly different zones, each with its own unique climate, topography, and vegetation are found in the major river watersheds. These zones are the Sanpoil/Curlew River Valleys, the Kettle/Colville/Columbia River Valleys, and the Pend Oreille River Valley. Precipitation and density of vegetation increase with altitude and lie on a southwest-to-northeast gradient. Habitats grade from the ponderosa pine and Douglas-fir forests that occupy the drier, western portion, to western red-cedar and hemlock forests on the moister east side. Agricultural fields and grasslands cover most valley bottoms.


The great biodiversity of the State of Washington makes compiling a local checklist difficult Though none of the area is a desert dry-land species common farther west such as the least chipmunk, might be found. On the other end of the habitat spectrum, species that occupy the more moist boreal forests, even the rare wolverine, are included. For some migratory birds a judgment was made as to their significance. Thus sandhill crane, which migrated through the Colville Valley, was omitted and the "3-records-only" broad-winged hawk was included.


This checklist estimates populations based on available information. Rating systems based on chance of observation favor highly visible species and thus distort reality for nocturnal or secretive species that could be equally common. Chance for observation is entrusted to luck and skill as an observer! Ratings in the checklist apply to during the right season and in the proper habitat.

C - Common: abundant to uncommon
U - Uncommon: local and not present in all suitable habitats
R - Rare: widely spaced, not always present, or lacking verification
XR - Extremely rare: seldom present but fair number of records
(REC) - Recorded: few accepted records

Bat note: The abundance of bats cannot be accurately rated. Though studies rely on capture and radio-tracking, some bat species are very adept at eluding capture. Bats are also difficult to identify unless found at a roost or captured. Therefore, for bats other than those we know to be common, only the rating "P" for "present" is used.

Fish note: Fish are not easy to observe, and their populations have not been studied well. The list included here is based on State Information and knowledge of local fish and wildlife biologists.

SEASONAL STATUS (Applies to birds and some bats)

R - Resident: sedentary, or altitudinal migrant within the area. Breeds here or nearby. Always present, but not necessarily the same individuals.
M - Migrant: non-breeding species or extralimital breeders in transit between summer and winter ranges.
SB - Summer breeder: breeding species present only in summer.
W - Winter: non-breeding species on its winter range. In some species, arrival may be as early as September and departure as late as April. This also refers to individuals that wander out of their range in winter.


AG - Agriculture: human-managed habitat, farmlands and open rangelands.
UB - Urban: towns and small communities.
WL - Wetlands: wide streams, marshes, rivers and lakes.
BS - Bogs and streams: mainly in mountainous forests.
FL - Forested lands: low to medium elevation.
SA - Subalpine: near timberline and above.
TR - Transition: dry hillsides, open forests; mainly in the western part of the region.
AH - All habitats: species that can be expected anywhere.
LK - Lake: applies only to fish.

LOONS                                  HABITAT          STATUS

___ Common Loon                          WL             XRSB,UM

GREBES HABITAT STATUS ___ Pied-billed Grebe WL UR ___ Eared Grebe WL CSB ___ Horned Grebe WL UM ___ Red-necked Grebe WL USB ___ Western Grebe WL USB
CORMORANTS HABITAT STATUS ___ Double-crested Cormorant WL RSB
HERONS HABITAT STATUS ___ American Bittern WL USB ___ Great Blue Heron WL,BS CR
WATERFOWL HABITAT STATUS ___ Tundra Swan WL CM ___ Greater White-fronted Goose AG,WL RM ___ Snow Goose AG,WL UM,UW ___ Canada Goose AG,WL CR ___ Mallard AG,WL CR ___ Gadwall WL CR ___ American Widgeon WL CR ___ Redhead WL CSB,RW ___ Lesser Scaup WL RSB,CW ___ Greater Scaup WL UW ___ Cinnamon Teal WL USB ___ Blue-winged Teal WL USB ___ Green-winged Teal WL UR ___ Wood Duck WL,FL UR ___ Ring-necked Duck WL,FL UR ___ Northern Pintail WL UR,CM ___ Northern Shoveler WL UR,RW ___ Canvasback WL UR,CM ___ Hooded Merganser WL,FL UR ___ Common Merganser WL UR ___ Barrow's Goldeneye WL RR,CW ___ Common Goldeneye WL RR,CW ___ Ruddy Duck WL CR,RW ___ Harlequin Duck FL RSB ___ Bufflehead WL UR,CW ___ Oldsquaw WL XRM ___ White-winged Scoter WL RW
EAGLES AND HAWKS HABITAT STATUS ___ Osprey WL CSB ___ Bald Eagle WL CW,RR ___ Golden Eagle SA RR,UM ___ Northern Harrier AG UR,RW ___ Sharp-shinned Hawk FL,SA UR ___ Cooper's Hawk FL,SA UR ___ Northern Goshawk FL,SA RR ___ Swainson's Hawk AG XRSB ___ Broad-winged Hawk SA (REC)M ___ Red-tailed Hawk AH CR ___ Rough-legged Hawk AG CW ___ Ferruginous Hawk AG XRM
FALCONS HABITAT STATUS ___ American Kestrel AG,UB CR ___ Merlin AG,FL XRR, UW ___ Peregrine Falcon AH XRR, XRM ___ Prairie Falcon TR,AG RR
GROUSE AND ALLIES HABITAT STATUS ___ Gray Partridge AG UR ___ Spruce (Franklin's) Grouse FL,SA RR ___ Ring-necked Pheasant AG CR ___ Blue Grouse FL,SA CR ___ Ruffed Grouse FL CR ___ Wild Turkey AG,FL UR ___ California Quail AG,UB CR ___ Chukar TR XRR
RAILS HABITAT STATUS ___ Virginia Rail WL USB ___ Sora WL CSB ___ American Coot WL UR,RW
PLOVERS HABITAT STATUS ___ Killdeer AG CSB ___ Semipalmated Plover WL UM
SANDPIPERS HABITAT STATUS ___ Greater Yellowlegs WL CM ___ Lesser Yellowlegs WL CM ___ Solitary Sandpiper AG,WL UM ___ Spotted Sandpiper WL CSB ___ Western Sandpiper WL UM ___ Least Sandpiper WL UM ___ Semipalmated Sandpiper WL RM ___ Pectoral Sandpiper WL UM ___ Long-billed Dowitcher WL CM ___ Common Snipe AG,WL UR ___ Wilson's Phalarope WL RSB ___ Red-necked Phalarope WL XRM
GULLS AND TERNS HABITAT STATUS ___ Bonaparte's Gull WL RM ___ Ring-billed Gull AG,WL CR ___ California Gull AG,WL UM ___ Herring Gull AG,WL RW ___ Caspian Tern WL UM ___ Forster's Tern WL UM ___ Black Tern WL USB
DOVES HABITAT STATUS ___ Mourning Dove AG,UB,FL UR,RW ___ Rock Dove AG,UB CR
OWLS HABITAT STATUS ___ Barn Owl AG,TR UR ___ Western Screech-Owl AG,FL UR ___ Great-Horned Owl AG,FL CR ___ Snowy Owl AG RW ___ Northern Hawk Owl AH XRW ___ Barred Owl FL UR ___ Long-eared Owl AG,FL UR ___ Short-eared Owl AG UR ___ Northern Saw-whet Owl FL CR ___ Boreal Owl SA XRR ___ Flammulated Owl FL RSB ___ Northern Pygmy-Owl FL CR ___ Great Gray Owl BS,FL,SA XRR
NIGHTJARS HABITAT STATUS ___ Common Nighthawk AG,UB,TR CSB ___ Common Poorwill TR,FL RSB
SWIFTS HABITAT STATUS ___ Vaux's Swift FL,SA USB ___ White-throated Swift TR USB ___ Black Swift FL,SA XRSB
HUMMINGBIRDS HABITAT STATUS ___ Black-chinned Hummingbird AH USB ___ Rufous Hummingbird AH CSB ___ Calliope Hummingbird AH USB
WOODPECKERS HABITAT STATUS ___ Lewis' Woodpecker FL,TR USB ___ Red-naped Sapsucker AG,FL CSB ___ Downy Woodpecker AH CR ___ Hairy Woodpecker AH CR ___ Northern Flicker AH CR ___ Pileated Woodpecker FL,SA UR ___ Black-backed Woodpecker FL,SA UR ___ Three-toed Woodpecker FL,SA UR ___ White-headed Woodpecker FL,TR RR ___ Williamson's Sapsucker FL,TR RSB
FLYCATCHERS HABITAT STATUS ___ Olive-sided Flycatcher FL,SA USB ___ Western Wood-Pewee AH CSB ___ Willow Flycatcher AG,WL USB ___ Pacific Slope Flycatcher AG,FL USB ___ Least Flycatcher AG,FL RSB ___ Hammond's Flycatcher FL CSB ___ Dusky Flycatcher FL USB ___ Say's Phoebe AG,TR USB ___ Eastern Kingbird AG,WL CSB ___ Western Kingbird AG CSB
SWALLOWS HABITAT STATUS ___ Tree Swallow AH CSB ___ Violet-green Swallow AH CSB ___ Northern Rough-winged Swallow WL CSB ___ Bank Swallow AG,WL USB,CM ___ Cliff Swallow AH CSB ___ Barn Swallow AG CSB
CROWS, MAGPIES, AND JAYS HABITAT STATUS ___ Blue Jay UB,FL XRW ___ Steller's Jay FL,SA CR ___ Clark's Nutcracker FL,SA UR ___ Gray Jay FL,SA CR ___ Black-billed Magpie AG CR ___ American Crow AH CR ___ Common Raven AH CR
CHICKADEES HABITAT STATUS ___ Black-capped Chickadee AH CR ___ Mountain Chickadee AH CR ___ Boreal Chickadee FL,SA RR ___ Chestnut-backed Chickadee FL UR
NUTHATCHES HABITAT STATUS ___ Red-breasted Nuthatch AH CR ___ Pygmy Nuthatch AH UR ___ White-breasted Nuthatch FL RR
WAXWINGS HABITAT STATUS ___ Bohemian Waxwing AH UW ___ Cedar Waxwing AH CR
WRENS HABITAT STATUS ___ Rock Wren SA,TR UR,RW ___ House Wren AH CSB ___ Winter Wren FL,SA CR ___ Marsh Wren WL CR,RW ___ Canyon Wren TR RSB
KINGLETS AND THRUSHES HABITAT STATUS ___ Golden-crowned Kinglet FL,SA CR ___ Ruby-crowned Kinglet UB,FL CSB ___ Western Bluebird TR,AG USB ___ Mountain Bluebird AG,SA CSB ___ Townsend's Solitaire FL,SA CR ___ Veery AG,FL USB ___ Swainson's Thrush FL CSB ___ Hermit Thrush FL,SA CSB ___ American Robin AH CR ___ Varied Thrush FL CR
SHRIKES HABITAT STATUS ___ Loggerhead Shrike TR XRSB ___ Northern Shrike FL,AG CW
VIREOS HABITAT STATUS ___ Solitary Vireo FL CSB ___ Warbling Vireo FL CSB ___ Red-eyed Vireo AG,WL CSB
WARBLERS HABITAT STATUS ___ Orange-crowned Warbler AG,BS,FL USB ___ Nashville Warbler AG,FL USB ___ Yellow Warbler AG,UB,FL CSB ___ Yellow-rumped Warbler AH CSB ___ Townsend's Warbler FL,SA CSB ___ American Redstart WL,BS USB ___ Northern Waterthrush WL,BS USB ___ MacGillivray's Warbler FL,SA CSB ___ Common Yellowthroat WL CSB ___ Wilson's Warbler FL USB ___ Yellow-breasted Chat WL,FL USB
GROSBEAKS AND BUNTINGS HABITAT STATUS ___ Black-headed Grosbeak FL CSB ___ Lazuli Bunting AG,UB,FL CSB
SPARROWS HABITAT STATUS ___ Spotted Towhee AH CR ___ American Tree Sparrow AG RW ___ Chipping Sparrow AG,FL CSB ___ Brewer's Sparrow TR RSB ___ Vesper Sparrow AG CSB ___ Lark Sparrow AG RSB ___ Savannah Sparrow AG CSB ___ Grasshopper Sparrow AG RSB ___ Le Conte's Sparrow AG (REC) ___ Nelson's Sharp-tailed Sparrow AG,FL (REC) ___ Fox Sparrow AH RSB,RW ___ Song Sparrow AG,UB,WL CR,UW ___ Lincoln's Sparrow FL,BS UR,CM ___ Swamp Sparrow WL XRW ___ White-crowned Sparrow AH CM,UW ___ Golden-crowned Sparrow AH RM ___ Harris' Sparrow AH RM ___ Dark-eyed Junco AG,FL,SA CR ___ Snow Bunting AG UW
BLACKBIRDS AND ORIOLES HABITAT STATUS ___ Bobolink AG USB ___ Red-winged Blackbird AG,WL CR,UW ___ Yellow-headed Blackbird AG,WL CSB ___ Rusty Blackbird AH XRW,XRM ___ Brewer's Blackbird AH CSB ___ Brown-headed Cowbird AH USB ___ Bullock's Oriole AG,WL USB ___ Western Meadowlark AG CSB
FINCHES HABITAT STATUS ___ Gray-crowned Rosy Finch AG,SA,TR RW ___ Pine Grosbeak FL,SA UR ___ Purple Finch FL RW ___ Cassin's Finch FL,SA CR ___ House Finch UB,AG CR ___ Red Crossbill FL,SA UR,CW ___ White-winged Crossbill FL,SA RW,RM ___ Common Redpoll AG,FL UW ___ Pine Siskin AH CR ___ American Goldfinch AG,FL CR ___ Evening Grosbeak UB,AG,FL UR

For additional information contact:
        Forest Biologist             or       Refuge Manager
        Colville National Forest              Little Pend Oreille NWR
        765 South Main Street                 Colville, WA 99114
        Colville, WA 99114                    Tel.# (509) 684-8384
        Tel.# (509) 684-7000

This resource is based on the following source:
Vial, Maurice and Chris Loggers.  1998.  Wildlife of Northeast Washington.  
     U.S. Forest Service,U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land 
     Management, and Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.  Unpaginated.
This resource should be cited as:
Vial, Maurice and Chris Loggers.  1998.  Wildlife of Northeast Washington.  
     U.S. Forest Service,U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land 
     Management, and Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.  Unpaginated.
     (Version 14AUG98).

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