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GAP Analysis Predicted Distribution Map

Yellow-headed Blackbird (Xanthocephalus xanthocephalus)

Species Code: XAXA

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

Common in eastern Washington wetlands, in steppe zones, and more locally in suitable habitat in forest zones up to roughly 3500 feet at Molson in Okanogan County. Requires wetlands with emergent vegetation; Yellow-headed Blackbirds often cohabit wetlands that support Red-winged Blackbirds. They are very local and uncommon breeders in western Washington in such places as the Fort Lewis area (Pierce County), Deer Lagoon on Whidbey Island, Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge (Clark County), and near Wiser Lake, (Whatcom County).

Good habitats in the core areas were all water/wetlands in eastern Washington in steppe, Ponderosa Pine, and Interior Douglas-fir zones. Peripheral habitats in water/wetlands in the Grand Fir zone in the Cascades and northeast, and in the Interior Western Hemlock zones in the northeast. Not modeled in the Blue Mountains or in western Washington.

In the central Columbia Basin, Yellow-headed Blackbirds are common in most wetlands. They require larger wetlands or those with deeper water than Red-winged Blackbirds; though Red-winged Blackbirds are found in most wetlands with Yellow-headed Blackbirds. They don't often appear in the small patches of wetland that will support the Red-winged Blackbirds. Western Washington records are scarce but their breeding area seems to be expanding, with the first breeding sighting in the Fort Lewis area in1986.

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