yellowbellied sapsucker (Sphyrapicus varius)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CONFIRMATION STATUS: Confirmed.

 

IDENTIFICATION:

  • Length: 7.75? inches

  • Medium-sized woodpecker

  • Black head traversed by white postocular stripe extending down neck

  • Red forehead

  • Pale moustachial stripe offsets black chest and complete, thick black        border to throat

  • Black back with faint white bars

  • Black wings, with white barring on flight feathers and bold white               patch on wing coverts

  • Yellow breast fades to whitish lower belly and vent, and is streaked       sparsely about the flanks

  • White rump

  • Dark tail with black and white barring on central most and outer most     retricies

  • Very rarely shows red nape spot

Adult male:

  • Red throat

Adult female:

  • White throat

Juvenile:

  • Wings and back patterned more or less like adult

  • Head brownish and streaked, with weak postocular stripe and mous-       tachial stripe

  • Reddish wash on forehead

  • Pale chest barred heavily with brown

  • Yellowish belly sparsely barred and streaked with brown

  • Juvenal plumage retained until first spring

Similar species:

White patch on wing coverts sets sapsuckers apart from all other
woodpeckers. Male yellow-bellied sapsuckers are distinguished from
male red-naped only by the red nape spot and incomplete frame to red
throat of red-naped sapsucker. Females are somewhat easier to
distinguish, as they differ in these characters, as well as having quite
different throat patterns (white in yellow-bellied, red and white in
red-naped). It is worth noting that any sapsucker in juvenal plumage
after late fall must be a yellow-bellied. Beware of rare hybrid yellow-
bellied x red-naped sapsuckers, and the occasional yellow-bellied
sapsucker which may show a red nape spot.

 

LIFE HISTORY

Migration Status: Short distance migrant
Breeding Habitat: Woodland
Nest Location: N/A
Nest Type: Cavity
Clutch Size: 3-7
Length of Incubation: 12-13 days
Days to Fledge: 25-29
Number of Broods: 1
Diet: Mostly plant matter; lesser quantities of insects, fruit

 

SKY MEADOWS DISTRIBUTION/SEASONAL OCCURRENCE

 

Relative abundance and seasonal occurrence are indicated in red below.

 

Relative abundance
     C - Common: Likely to be present in good numbers in appropriate habitat and season.
     U - Uncommon: May be present in appropriate habitat and season, often in low
            numbers.
     O - Occassional: Found in appropriate habitat perhaps only a few times per season,
            sometimes low numbers.
     R - Rare: May not be recorded every year.
     Acc - Accidental: Recorded once or twice, may not be expected again for a long time.

 

Seasonal Occurrence
      Sp - Spring: March, April, May
U
      Su - Summer: June, July, August
      Fall: September, October, November
C

      Winter: December, January, February C

 

 

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