Williamson's Sapsucker

1/320s at f8.0, ISO:640, Canon Mark III 1Ds w/800mm, 1.4x converter


The breeding habitat of the Williamson Sapsucker is open forested areas, including conifers, in the western part of North America, from British Columbia to northern Mexico. They are permanent residents in some parts of their range; migrating birds form small flocks and may travel as far south as central Mexico. Adult males are iridescent black on their head, back, sides and tail. They have a white stripe behind the eye and a lower white stripe across each side of the head, a red chin and a bright yellow belly. They have black wings with large white patches. The female is completely different in appearance: mainly black, with a pale yellow breast, a brownish head with black streaking and fine barring on the back, breast and sides. Originally, the female was considered to be a different species. They excavate a new nesting cavity each year, sometimes reusing the same tree. These birds feed on sap, mainly from conifers, but insects are their main food source during the nesting season and they also eat berries outside of the breeding period. These birds drum to establish territories.
Rocky Mountain N.P. Co
 
05/09/2009