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GAP Analysis Predicted Distribution Map

Pileated Woodpecker (Dryocopus pileatus)

Species Code: DRPI

This is an "at risk" species

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Breeding Range Map
The green area shows the predicted habitats for breeding only.
© NatureMapping Program

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Predicted breeding range

= Core Habitat
= Marginal Habitat


Pileated woodpecker 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   Map with Breeding 
Bird Atlas records
Observations | Historic Gap points

Metadata (Data about data or how the map was made)


This species was common in mid-seral forests, mostly at low and moderate elevations. They occur in hardwood, mixed, and coniferous forests. They are less common in high-elevation forest zones such as the Sub-alpine Fir or Mountain Hemlock; rarely, they are found in patches below the Ponderosa Pine zone.

Core areas of use were those zones below the Mountain Hemlock zone in western Washington and forested zones below the Alpine/Parkland zones of eastern Washington. Peripheral zones were in steppe zones at the very edge of the Columbia Basin. Good habitats in the core zones were mid to late-seral conifer forests. Other forests and wooded parks were adequate for use. This species was not modeled in developed areas (except wooded parks), but they occasionally occurred there if a large snag was available.

Washington breeders represent the western subspecies D. p. abieticola. Pileated Woodpeckers require large trees and have been impacted by forest-management practices, but their adaptability in occupying hardwood second-growth tracts offsets some of the habitat loss. Additionally, they can exist in city parks with suitable trees, such as Steward Park, Discovery Park, and Camp Long in Seattle. Their key habitat need is the presence of large snags for nesting, as this species excavates a new nest cavity each year. In eastern Washington, Pilated Woodpeckers are rarely found below the Ponderosa Pine zone, yet one probable breeding site is reported from large Cottonwoods at Rooks Park in Walla Walla County. In Washington, Breeding Bird Survey data show a significant population decline of 5.5% from 1966 to 1991.

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