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GAP Analysis Predicted Distribution Map

Black Swift (Cypseloides niger)

Species Code: CYNI

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 was an uncommon breeder in forested habitats at moderate elevations in the Cascades north of Snoqualmie Pass, and along the rocky coastline from Point Grenville to Cape Flattery. Few nests are known, but they have been found on steep cliffs and behind waterfalls. This species did not breed in other mountain ranges of Washington. Foraging birds may be found far from breeding areas.

Good habitat in the core areas of use included mod- to late-seral mixed and conifer forests and rivers/riparian areas in forested zones above the Ponderosa Pine zone in eastern Washington, and above Puget Sound Douglas-fir zone in western Washington; and similar habitats, plus rocky shoreline, of the coastal strip in the Sitka Spruce zone.

Washington breeders represent the western subspecies C. n. borealis. The Black Swift is often seen in the mountain areas described above, but nests are rarely found. The observation of a bird carrying an insect and flying to a cliff, seen in 1988 near Copper Mountain, may be the first confirmed breeding record for Washington. The absence of the Black Swift in the southern Cascades is probably due to lesser topographic relief there than in the northern Cascades. When foraging, this species may be found far from its nesting areas. During the breeding season, wandering birds have been noted south to Mount Adams, down to lower elevations over Puget Sound, west to the San Juan Islands, and east into Ferry County.

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