Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

(Sphyrapicus varius)

               
Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

LC - Least Concern

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

NatureServe

N5B, N5N - Secure Breeding and Nonbreeding

SNRB - Unranked Breeding

Minnesota

not listed

Occurrence

Common migrant and breeder

Habitat

Young, deciduous and mixed forests, especially dry, second-growth woodlands

Size

7 to 9 in length

16 wingspan

     
 

 

  Photo by Bill Reynolds

Identification

This medium-sized woodpecker has a name likely to elicit a smile or a raised eyebrow. It is 7 to 9 long, weighs 1½ oz. to 2 oz., and has a 13 to 16 wingspan.

The back is black with extensive narrow white barring. The belly is yellowish. The flanks are yellowish to white with narrow faded barring. The breast is black. The rump is white. The wings are black with narrow white bars and a large white patch that is conspicuous during flight. The tail is mostly black.

The head is mostly black and white and boldly striped. The crown is bright red. On the male the chin is bright red. On the female it is white.

 
Sign

Long, horizontal, more or less straight lines of small, closely-spaced holes in the trunk of a tree are a sure sign of this bird.

 
Voice

A repeated, scratchy, nasal, cat-like me-ew.

The drumming is a loud roll quickly slowing to rapid but clearly separated taps and finished by 3 or 4 well-spaced taps at the end.

 
Similar
Species

Pileated Woodpecker (Dryocopus pileatus), the only other woodpecker in Minnesota with a red crown, is a much larger, much blacker bird.


Food

Tree sap and small insects attracted to the sap filling the holes made by the bird. Also hammers for insects and catches insects on the wing.

 
Nesting

In late April and May the male and female excavate a nest hole in a live poplar or birch tree 6½ to 65 above the ground. They will often choose a dead limb or a trunk with decayed heartwood. Excavation takes from 2 to 3 weeks. The finished nest will be up to 10 deep with an entrance hole only 1½ in diameter. The nest is not lined.

The female lays 4 to 7 eggs on wood chips left over from the excavation. Both adults share incubation duties. The eggs hatch in 12 to 13 days. The young leave the nest 25 to 29 days after hatching.

There is only one brood per year. Nests are often reused year after year.

 
Migration

Late March to late October


Comments

 


Taxonomy

Order:

Piciformes (woodpeckers and relatives)

 

Family:

Picidae (woodpeckers)


 

 

 

 

 

       

Visitor Photos

   
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Bill Reynolds


  Yellow-bellied Sapsucker   Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

       
       

MinnesotaSeasons.com Photos

   

Sign

  Yellow-bellied Sapsucker sign   Yellow-bellied Sapsucker sign
       
  Yellow-bellied Sapsucker sign    
       
       

 

Camera

     

Slideshows

   
  Yellow-bellied sapsucker
Andree Reno Sanborn
 
  Yellow-bellied sapsucker  
 
About

Sphyrapicus varius

 
     
  Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Andy Reago & Chrissy McClarren
 
  Yellow-bellied Sapsucker  
     
  Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
JMC Nature Photos
 
  Yellow-bellied Sapsucker  

 

slideshow

     

Visitor Videos

   
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Other Videos

 
  Yellow bellied Sapsucker, Sphyrapicus varius drilling holes.
Rob Curtis
 
   
 
About

Published on Jun 26, 2014

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker,Sphyrapicus varius, feeding

 
     
  Yellow-bellied sapsucker female. South Padre Island
tavovalero
 
   
 
About

Published on Apr 4, 2015

Recorded at Valley land fund lots South Padre Island Birding and Nature Center on 2015-03-28

Sphyrapicus varius

Chupasavia Maculado, chupasavia norteño (Spanish)

If you want to watch similar bird and other wildlife videos go to my YouTube channel at http://www.youtube.com/user/tavovalero/videos

 
     
  Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (Picidae: Sphyrapicus varius) Male
Carl Barrentine
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Jun 26, 2010

Photographed at the Rydell NWR, Minnesota (25 June 2010).

 
     
  Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (Sphyrapicus varius)
johnfredeen
 
   
 
About

Published on Sep 27, 2012

Filmed in an aspen forest in central Alberta.

 
     
  Sphyrapicus varius Yellow-bellied Sapsucker at wells
Meena Haribal
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Jul 18, 2011

No description available.

 
     

 

Camcorder

         

Visitor Sightings

   
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Debbie lamp
here

4/22/2017

Location: 5 miles south of hibbing on bunker road

feeding on suet in yard have also been seeing a red bellied woodpecker yesterday feeding on suet.  The downy and hairy woodpeckers commonly feed here


Bill Reynolds
6/6/2015

Location: Pennington Co MN

Here is a closer look at the Yellow-bellied Sapsucker.   Such a good looking fellow.

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker


Bill Reynolds
4/30/2011

Location: Pennington Co.

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker


     
     
 

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