Yellow-bellied sapsucker

Yellow-bellied sapsucker (Sphyrapicus varius).


Birds of New Jersey doesn’t list yellow-bellied sapsuckers, so I put these photos into an unidentified birds file. Then I saw a photo of one on a CBS2 weather report from a weather watcher in New York. It was identified as a yellow-bellied sapsucker, so I gathered courage to make an identification. Cornell Lab of Ornithology says males and females have red foreheads, but males also have red throats. So, this must be a female.

Cornell Lab also shows on a map that yellow-bellied sapsuckers may be found in New Jersey in winter, but only the non-breeding ones.


The long white stripe along the folded wing is another identifying feature for all yellow-bellied sapsuckers. Also, that they may visit suet feeders, as the one above is doing. All this according to Cornell Lab.

Yellow-bellied sapsuckers drill rows of shallow holes in tree bark to drink the sap along with whatever insects come their way. There’s a maple tree near the feeders, but I haven’t noticed any sapwells.

These photos were taken on February 17 of one female sapsucker. I haven’t seen any yellow-bellied sapsuckers since, but would like to.

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