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GAP Analysis Predicted Distribution Map

Western Bluebird (Sialia mexicana)

Species Code: SIME

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

The Western Bluebird is locally common in open conifer forests, farmlands, and in steppe habitats in eastern Washington, in the ecotone between forest and steppe zones. It is also common in western Washington in the Fort Lewis area, but uncommon at other locations in western Washington (forest clearings in King, Pierce, Thurston, and Mason Counties), and in prairie areas near Port Townsend and other sites.

Core zones on the east side were the Interior Douglas-fir, Ponderosa Pine, Oak, and steppe zones at the edge of the Columbian Basin, and on the west side in the Woodland/Prairie Mosaic and Puget Sound Douglas-fir zones. It was found peripherally and locally in the Sitka Spruce and Western Hemlock zones. Good habitats were agriculture, steppe, forest openings and clearings, and open forests. In the Puget Sound Douglas-fir zone and the peripheral west-side zones, agriculture was good, and forest openings and clearings were adequate.

After 1960, the only area where this species nested was Fort Lewis, and this population eventually dwindled to one pair in l981. An intense nest-box program (and a return to drier climatic conditions regionally) has increased this population to well over 600 pairs and helped in the re-establishment of breeding pairs at other sites in western Washington. It is repoerted to be rare and local in Skamania County, such as Silver Star Mountain and Mount St. Helens. In eastern Washington, the species now occurs down into the steppe zones where nest box projects have been implemented in Kittitas, Yakima, Klickikat, Walla Walla, Columbia and Garfield Counties.

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