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Williamson's Sapsucker

From Opus

MalePhoto jvhigbee Washington, USA, October 2006
Photo jvhigbee
Washington, USA, October 2006
Sphyrapicus thyroideus


[edit] Identification

Iridescent black head, back, sides and tail, white stripe behind the eye and a lower white stripe across each side of the head, red chin, bright yellow belly, black wings with large white patches. The female is completely different - black, pale yellow breast, brownish head with black streaking and fine barring on the back, breast and sides.

[edit] Distribution

Western North America, from southern British Columbia, Washington, and western Montana south to southern California, Arizona, and New Mexico. Uncommon in coastal areas.

[edit] Taxonomy

Two subspecies are recognized:[1]

FemalePhoto by Forcreeks
Photo by Forcreeks

[edit] Habitat

Open forested areas, including conifers.

[edit] Behaviour

  • Breeding: They excavate a new nesting cavity each year, sometimes reusing the same tree.
  • Diet: Includes sap, mainly from conifers; insects are the main food source during the nesting season; berries are eaten outside of the breeding period.

[edit] References

  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2016. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2016, with updates to August 2016. Downloaded from

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