Tag Archives: Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers feed at sapwells, shallow holes they have drilled in tree’s bark.

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

Like other woodpeckers, Sapsuckers are industrious, and usually their work is in tidy rows.

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

Check out his sharp beak and the spread of his foot!

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

As the sapsucker worked around the tree additional sapwells came into view.

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

Click on any photo for a larger view. 

Nature’s Camoflage

Spotting wildlife is often about subtle contrasts and shapes. The subject’s movement sometimes helps. This Sapsucker flew onto the tree then froze in place.

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

Looking for the unexpected can help.

Tree Frog
Tree Frog

Some creatures hardly move, like the Tree Frog, and others, like this warbler, are in perpetual motion so it’s helpful to anticipate their next direction.

Black-and-white Warbler
Black-and-white Warbler

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker All In

Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers are named for their behavior of drilling small  holes in trees then drinking the sap that runs into the wells. They get most of their food that way but also feed on insects they find under tree bark.

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

I’ve seen them peck at bark, mostly on the rough-barked trees and was surprised to see this one bobbing into a tree cavity. He was just about disappearing from my view as he reached in.

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

I didn’t see what, if anything, the Sapsucker was finding, but he kept at it for longer than I watched.

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

Camoflage

Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers visually blend into the surface of the rough-barked trees. These two images were taken in different places over a month apart.

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

I heard the tat-tat-tat of pecking at the bark first, then watched for the flash of red to help me spot them. Sapsuckers tend to spiral around the tree looking for food, sometimes at a pretty fast pace leaving the photographer to guess where they will pop back around.

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker