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Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (Male)

Sphyrapicus varius

Description:

I could hear this bird tapping on trees long before I could see it! Yellow-bellied sapsuckers are medium-sized woodpeckers with black wings, white barring, and a cream-colored underside with streaked markings. Both sexes have a black bib. Males have a red forehead and crown, as well as a red throat.

Habitat:

This bird was flying from tree to tree, tapping holes and inspecting sap wells in a mixed forest.

Notes:

Most of their foraging time is spent creating, maintaining, and feeding from sap wells. Sap itself makes up only about 20% of their overall diet, though at certain times, the figure can be nearly 100%. During early spring, the xylem tissues have high sugar content (to fuel leaf growth), and so sapsuckers drill through the phloem to make xylem wells, which are round holes. The remainder of their diet consists of insects, fruit, and seeds.

No species ID suggestions

7 Comments

Christine Y.
Christine Y. 10 months ago

Thanks Zlatan!

Zlatan Celebic
Zlatan Celebic 10 months ago

Wow. a great one!

Christine Y.
Christine Y. 11 months ago

Thanks Danièle! Although loud, they are elusive!

DanielePralong
DanielePralong 11 months ago

Great shots Christine! I too always hear woodpeckers before I see them. Well often I don't even manage to see them :-)

Christine Y.
Christine Y. 11 months ago

Thanks Bernadette and Rob! They are not that common where I live, and this was my first time seeing one. I watched it make the hole in the first shot, and was amazed by how easily and quickly it was done!

triggsturner
triggsturner 11 months ago

Nice one Christine. I love these guys!

Bernadette S
Bernadette S 11 months ago

Great spotting!

Connecticut, USA

Lat: 41.92, Long: -73.47

Spotted on Apr 22, 2018
Submitted on Apr 23, 2018

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