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GAP Analysis Predicted Distribution Map

American Kestrel (Falco sparverius)

Species Code: FASP

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

Map with Breeding Bird Atlas records

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

This species is common in most open habitats at lower elevations in eastern Washington, and are locally uncommon in similar habitats of western Washington. They prefer open habitats such as agricultural areas, grasslands, and sagebrush. Kestrels need a cavity for nesting, sometimes using cliffs when tree cavities are not available. In western Washington, they are found locally in the southern Puget Trough, along the upper Skagit River, and in eastern King and Pierce Counties, south to the Trout Lake area, and locally above the treeline along the Cascade crest.

All of the zones within its range limits were core areas of use. In the steppe zones all habitats were good except mid- to high-density development. In the driest forest zones (Ponderosa Pine and Oak) all habitats were good except mid- to high-density development and closed forest. In all other forested zones and Alpine/Parkland, only agriculture and open areas (meadows, clear-cuts, shrubs, parkland, etc.) were good.

In western Washington the kestrel occurs locally in a variety of vegetation zones where appropriate habitat is found. In eastern Washington, it is abundant in a wide variety of open habitats. At higher elevations, kestrels become somewhat local breeders occurring where conditions are suitable, including higher elevation cuts and burns, parkland in sub-alpine forest zones and the Alpine/Parkland zone, and open grassy slopes or meadows. For example, kestrels have been seen in meadows in Kittitas County at 6000 feet and in clear-cuts in the Blue Mountains at 5000 feet. Kestrels show a preference for relatively dry foraging areas, a probable reason for their absence as a breeder in most of the Olympic Peninsula.

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