Birds of the Palouse 

plants | mammals | birds | amphibians | invertebrates

More than 250 species of birds have been recorded in Whitman and Latah Counties; many are in the Palouse region.

Palouse Birds Pre-conversion

We can only speculate; very little is known about Palouse birds prior to about the 1940’s. Possibly lost some species that need extensive grassland, wetlands, or riparian habitats or are sensitive to disturbance.

Birds that may have been present, and are marginal at best today, are

Birds that may have been much more common are

Grassland/Shrub Habitat

Grassland and shrub habitats have a relatively low bird diversity except where they meet other habitat types.

Presumably most species are reduced from pre-conversion due to habitat loss, but few have been extirpated.

Typical species include

Specialists, where rocks are streams are present, include

Hawthorn/Riparian Habitat

Hawthorn/riparian habitat has highest bird diversity of Palouse Prairie habitats. In addition to breeders, areas are used throughout the year by residents, migrants, and winter visitors.

Hawthorn/riparian habitat is much reduced, but good examples still exist. Typical species include

Wetlands/Wet Meadow Habitat

Most of the native wetlands habitat appears to be gone, but most of the typical species persist at sewage ponds, farm ponds, restoration sites, artificial wetlands, etc.

Some typical wetlands species include

Conservation needs

Based on the 2002 Palouse Prairie Symposium presentation by Charles Swift.

Links (which open in a new window) are to the Digital Atlas of Idaho project, on the Idaho Museum of Natural History web server, housed at Idaho State University.

Palouse Prairie Foundation | P.O. Box 8952 | Moscow, ID 83843