The darker the color, the more favorable the climate conditions are for survival. The outlined areas represent approximate current range for each season. More on reading these maps.
This brightly colored sapsucker is currently restricted mainly to the Pacific slope of North America. Audubon’s climate model predicts significant (roughly two-thirds) shifting of climate space for the summer season. Of interest is the availability, even at the present time, of suitable climate space far from the current range—in the northern Great Lakes and Newfoundland. Although the Red-breasted Sapsucker is unlikely to disperse so far, the model reminds us of an important aspect of sapsucker biology: hybridization. All three of these sapsuckers (Red-breasted, Yellow-bellied, and Red-naped) are known to hybridize to some extent where their breeding ranges overlap, and climate-catalyzed range shifts may increase the frequency of gene mixing.