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GAP Analysis Predicted Distribution Map

Bufflehead (Bucephala albeola)

Species Code: BUAL

Predicted breeding range

= Core Habitat
= Marginal Habitat


Bufflehead photo

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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.

NatureMapping observations map  


This species is a very rare breeder near high forested lakes in northeastern mountain ranges. Recently confirmed records have come from Big Meadow Lake and Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge. Therefore, no habitat was modeled for this species.

Buffleheads reach almost their southwestern limit in Washington. Two isolated populations exist farther south and west in southern Oregon's Linn, Deschutes, Klamath, and Douglas Counties, and northeastern California's Lassen County. Many summer records exist, certainly non-breeders, from scattered locations at lower elevations throughout Washington. The majority of Buffleheads breed farther north and west throughout northern and central Canada and Alaska. Buffleheads nest in cavities near small freshwater ponds or lakes in boreal forested areas. The Big Meadow Lake site is the most consistently used breeding area in Washington, with nesting being noted in most years. Broods were also noted in ponds just west of Big Meadow Lake in 1995.

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