Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker ~ World Bird Wednesday

Last Sunday while trying to add a bird to my Birding the Net list (this is an additive game/contest) I noticed a blur fly by the window and land on the trunk of the Serviceberry tree just outside my window. I slowly reached for my camera while not taking my eyes off of this never-before-seen bird.

These photos aren't the greatest in the world. Light was not on my side but I feel lucky to get them before she flew away into the woods. 

A quick check in my Field Guides confirmed this was a female Yellow-bellied Sapsucker. 

These cool woodpeckers nest in the North and winter in the South. If you have noticed a lined-upped rows of small shallow holes in tree bark these were likely made by this bird.  If you live in the West the holes are likely created by their cousins the Red-breasted Sapsucker or Red-naped Sapsucker. They drill the holes/well for the sap and insects that is attracted to it. This is how they got their names as "sapsuckers".

Sibley's Field Guide says they are "uncommon" and National Geographic's says they are "common". who do you believe?

I checked with Cornell Lab's All About Birds/Yellow-bellied Sapsucker . Cornell lists them on the Least Concern list. 

Another interesting tidbit: I gleefully shared at work that I had seen a new bird and after sharing the name one of my co-workers said...
"Oh...that is where that name came from. That is what we call someone who is a coward. I never knew there was really a bird by that name."

I was dumbfounded but was able to affirm that indeed this bird really existed. This must be why All About Birds' opening statement is:"Although most non-birders believe that the Yellow-bellied Sapsucker is a fictitious bird for the humorous name, in fact it is a widespread species of small woodpecker."  

I was major thrilled to add this bird to my Life List and I pray she will come back and bring friends.

Enjoy Birds? Visit World Bird Wednesday to satisfy your bird cravings!

Many Thanks to Samantha at Reasonable Chaos for sharing the link to my Bird Cake Recipe!  You never know what's happening at her (always) entertaining blog...check it out!

Wishing Peace, Health, Wealth, and Love to ALL!



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