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Sapsucker Damage

Sphyrapicus spp.


Sapsuckers are notorious for damaging thin barked trees like birch. The holes are drilled (pecked) in horizontal and vertical rows. The sapsuckers are after the sap of course but will feed on the insects that subsequently show up. The red-breasted sapsucker (Sphyrapicus ruber) is probably the culprit here in western Washington.


Spotted on a birch or alder tree along a wetland drainage in a mixed forest.


For more info on sapsucker damage here is an article:

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Neil Ross
Neil Ross 4 years ago

I guess it's akin to ring-barking. No doubt some trees would die, particularly during cold weather?

Brian38 4 years ago

Thanks Neil. They can be relentless on the birch that is for sure.

Neil Ross
Neil Ross 4 years ago

A very interesting spotting, Brian. Good info too, plus the link. I didn't think they would peck at wood house siding. Who's knocking at the door?

Spotted by

Washington, USA

Spotted on Nov 18, 2019
Submitted on Dec 24, 2019

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