Yellow Bellied Sapsucker Pecking for Sap

by Mark Callaway
(Atlanta GA USA)

Yellow Bellied Sapsucker Woodpecker

Yellow Bellied Sapsucker Woodpecker

Yellow Bellied Sapsucker Woodpecker
Yellow Bellied Sapsucker Woodpecker
Yellow Bellied Sapsucker Woodpecker
Yellow Bellied Sapsucker Woodpecker

We have some suet hanging from a birdhouse, but this bird was so busy putting holes in the tree next to our fence, that I was able to walk along the fence and get about 10 feet from the Yellow Bellied Sapsucker Woodpecker. My stepfather suggested, over a phone call, that it was probably a Sapsucker. He was able to guess it correctly, without seeing the bird, just by my explaining what the bird was doing. The bird spent a long time making all its new rows of holes up and down the tree - I figure it took the bird about 2 hrs to do. Then the bird kept moving up and down the tree where she would revisit the holes over and over. I assume this bird was a she as the male should have more red on its head and neck.


Comment
Wonderful photos, Mark. Yes this is a female. To trap insects, sapsuckers drill parallel rows of holes in trees to form sap wells, which they maintain and defend.
Susan

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