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Red-breasted sapsucker

Sphyrapicus ruber


This was so much fun to watch. A Red-breasted sapsucker was taking sap from a rather small tree and would occasionally fly over to a sign (pics 3 and 4) and begin drumming to mark or indicate his or her territory. Sexes are alike. The upper chest and head are red on adults. The belly is white. Back, wings and tail are mostly black with white patches. These woodpeckers are about robin size.


Spotted at Flaming Geyser State Park near the Green River.


Range from southeast Alaska to northern California.

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25 Comments (1–25)

Brian38 9 hours ago

Thank you Tukup and armadeus.4 for your kind comments.

armadeus.4 6 months ago

Congratulations on your SOTW Brian! Thank you for sharing :)

Tukup 6 months ago

Congratulations on the well-deserved SOTW Brian. Interesting design it leaves behind. Nice when you can watch for a bit instead of just a fleeting glimpse and time for a quick shot or two. Thanks for sharing.

Brian38 6 months ago

Thank you Mark and António for your kind words.

Great series Brian,i find amazing how they build that "structure" to suck the sape,it's the first time i se this,very inteligent.Congrats on the well deserved SOTW and thanks for sharing

Mark Ridgway
Mark Ridgway 6 months ago

Congratulations Brian.

Brian38 6 months ago

Thank you i_munasinghe for your kind words.

i_munasinghe 7 months ago

Congratulations Brian!! Great spotting!

Brian38 7 months ago

Thanks, Mark and Leuba for your kind comments. I visit this park often -- so Ill keep up on the status of the tree. I can't imagine it will survive.

Brian38 7 months ago

Thank you, Michael and PN. It is always an honor. Thank you ornithoptera80. , Saturniidae27, SukanyaDatta, Jae, Neil Ross, and Single D for your kind comments.

Single D
Single D 7 months ago

Congratulations on your spotting of the week.

Neil Ross
Neil Ross 7 months ago

Congratulations, Brian. A much-deserved SOTW. I wonder if trypophobes have woodpeckers as pets?

Jae 7 months ago

Cheers, Brian!

SukanyaDatta 7 months ago

Congratulations, Brian.

Saturniidae27 7 months ago

Congrats Brian 🎉. Keep up the great work :-)

Ornithoptera80 7 months ago

Congratulations Brian.

MichaelS 7 months ago

Hi Brian38,

Your spotting has been voted Spotting of the Week!

Thank you for sharing this stunning woodpecker spotting with the Project Noah community!

Brian38 7 months ago

Thank you António for the nomination.

“Your spotting has been nominated for the Spotting of the Week. The winner will be chosen by the Project Noah Rangers based on a combination of factors including: uniqueness of the shot, status of the organism (for example, rare or endangered), quality of the information provided in the habitat and description sections. There is a subjective element, of course; the spotting with the highest number of Ranger votes is chosen. Congratulations on being nominated!”

Brian38 7 months ago

Thanks, Neil. They damage trees often to the point of no return and if they don't kill it -- the ensuing insects and fungus will.

Neil Ross
Neil Ross 7 months ago

Such a cool spotting. Do they ever kill the tree? Gorgeous bird!

Brian38 7 months ago

I'm amazed at how they keep such perfect vertical rows. Imagine the insects and fungus this attracts. They certainly have their place in the forest.

Mark Ridgway
Mark Ridgway 7 months ago

Wow! Even if does damage I have to admire it's work. Quite the artist.

Brian38 7 months ago

Thank you, Leuba. This species is well known for destroying trees.

Leuba Ridgway
Leuba Ridgway 7 months ago

At least he's not ring barking the tree ! Great photo Brian38.

Spotted by

Auburn, Washington, United States

Spotted on Jun 5, 2020
Submitted on Jun 6, 2020

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