Long-billed curlew (Numenius americanus) reproductive success was evaluated on the Mid-Columbia River National Wildlife Refuges of south-central Washington and north-central Oregon during the 2007 and 2008 breeding seasons. Additionally, we assisted the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in collecting information on distribution, abundance, and brood habitat for this shorebird species of conservation concern. A total of 32 breeding pairs were located on the refuges in 2007 and 35 pairs were located in 2008. We monitored 17 nests in 2007 and 23 nests in 2008. Curlew pairs were most abundant on Hanford Reach National Monument in 2007 but more nests were located on Umatilla National Wildlife Refuge in both years, with Columbia National Wildlife Refuge supporting few pairs. Nest success was 23.6 percent in 2007 and 32.9 percent in 2008 after taking into account exposure time and combining data for all the refuges. We were unable to detect any relationship between nest success and habitat type or habitat variables measured. However, our study was the first to document use of agricultural fields on the refuge as curlew nest habitat. We collected 39 and 28 brood locations in 2007 and 2008, respectively, and many observations were likely resightings of the same brood. Broods used a similar variety of habitats as nesting curlew and no clear habitat use pattern was detected.
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
Long-Billed Curlew Breeding Success on Mid-Columbia River National Wildlife Refuges, South-Central Washington and North-Central Oregon, 2007-08