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GAP Analysis Predicted Distribution Map

Prairie Falcon (Falco mexicanus)

Species Code: FAME

This is an "at risk" species

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

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

This species is uncommon in canyons and coulees in eastern Washington, mostly below the Ponderosa Pine zone. They are rare breeders in the Methow and Okanogan valleys. They hunt in a variety of habitats within the vicinity of their nesting area, but are usually not in cities. In the Palouse region they are restricted by the limited availability of suitable nesting areas but they can be found near Rock Lake and along the Snake River.

Good habitats in the core areas of use included all habitats in steppe zones except for development and agriculture. The peripheral areas of use were the Ponderosa Pine and Oak zones while openings in forests were found to be good habitat; all others were excluded. We excluded agricultural land from the model, but Prairie Falcons hunt to some extent in fields if they are sufficiently close to suitable nest sites.

This species is most limited by the presence of cliffs and large rocky outcroppings on which it nests. Nesting success may vary annually due to fluctuations in prey availability. Their favored prey items include ground squirrels, rabbits, and upland game birds (such as Chukar, Gray Partridge, and Ring-necked Pheasant). Post-breeding dispersal will bring individuals to very high elevations, as evidenced by late summer birds seen high on Mount Rainier and at Slate Peak.

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