Bird / Birds

Sapsuckers

Posted On: Sep 15, 2017   |   Posted By: Ornithology

Sapsuckers

Red-breasted Sapsucker
I once thought that the name “sapsucker” was a pejorative appellation laid upon someone or just another version of “seersucker.” The latter is a type of cotton fabric and the former is actually a type of bird.
There are four species of sapsuckers in North America: the Williamson's, Red-breasted and Red-naped Sapsuckers are western species and the Yellow-bellied an eastern variety. All are migratory, nesting in the northern regions nearly to Alaska and wintering as far south as Panama. Winter is the time you are likely to see these birds in the lower elevations of the west.
Sapsuckers are specialized kinds of woodpeckers. Most woodpeckers peck on dead or dying trees to extract nuts, seeds, and arthropods and their larvae from the tree. The sapsuckers, however, prefer live trees in which they drill a series of small holes in a more or less parallel pattern, giving the tree the appearance of being machine-gunned by a very small gangster. The birds leave the tree to ooze its sap. When the...

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