Sunday, May 12, 2013

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker - Syphyrapicus varius

The species name was chosen when the Red-breasted and Red-naped Sapsuckers were also included in this species. 
Sapsucker drill regularly spaced holes in horizontal parallel rows. The holes are drilled at a slightly upward angle, which allows the sap to run into the woodpecker. The tongue is adapted with a brush at the end to lap up the sap as well as any insects attracted to fluid. 

Sapsuckers often choose a dead aspen to create a nest. The gourd-shaped cavity is about 14 inches deep and five inches in diameter. The nest hole is one and a quarter to one and a half inches wide. 


The Atlas of Breeding Birds of Alberta. Federation of Alberta Naturalists. 2007.

Baicich PJ, Harrison CJO. Nests, Eggs, and Nestlings of North American Birds. Princeton UP. 2005.

Fisher C, Acorn J. Birds of Alberta. Lone Pine Publishing. Edmonton. 1998.

Kaufman K. Advanced Birding. Peterson Field Guides. Houghton Mifflin Company. Boston. 1990. 

Scotter GW, Ulrich TJ, Jones ET. Birds of the Canadian Rockies. Western Producer Prairie Books. Saskatoon. 1990. 

Sibley David A. The Sibley Guide to Bird Life & Behavior. Alfred A Knopf, Inc. New York. 2001.

Tudge Colin. The Bird. Crown Publishers. New York. 2008.

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