Home | About Us | How to Participate | Biodiversity Modules | Projects | Maps | News | Resources

GAP Analysis Predicted Distribution Map

Northern Harrier (Circus cyaneus)

Species Code: CICY

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 all open habitats of eastern Washington up to the Ponderosa Pine zone. In fact, they are possibly the second most common raptor in that region. They are local and uncommon in western Washington in open farmlands and wetlands along the Puget Trough, south to the Cowlitz and Willamette valleys, and west to Grays Harbor and Willapa Bay.

Good habitat in the core areas of use included all steppe vegetation, open areas among Ponderosa Pine and Oak forests, farmland, wetlands, parks, and waterways in the steppe, Oak, and Ponderosa Pine zones of eastern Washington; and in western Washington, in farmlands, parks, open areas, and wetlands of the Puget Sound Douglas-fir, Woodlands/Prairie Mosaic, Sitka Spruce, Cowlitz River, and Willamette Valley zones, and locally in the Western Hemlock zone.

Harriers utilize most open habitats. More intensive nest searching in eastern Washington would be useful to determine the exact extent of breeding in this region. Most records are only observed birds in suitable habitat. In western Washington seven confirmed nesting areas have been reported from 1978 to 1984.

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