Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

Sphyrapicus varius

Order

PICIFORMES

Family

Woodpeckers (Picidae)

Code 4

YBSA

Code 6

SPHVAR

ITIS

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ILLUSTRATION

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PHOTOS

CONSERVATION STATUS

Least Concern

The Yellow-bellied Sapsucker has an an enormous range reaching up to generally 4.5 million square kilometers. This bird can be found throughout North America and in many areas of Central America and the Carribean. There are also vagrant colonies in Greenland and the United Kingdom as well. This is a species that prefers forested areas including boreal, temperate, tropical and subtropical locations. It also frequently appears in pastureland, urban areas and rural gardens. The global population of this bird is estimated to be around 9.2 million individuals. It is not believed that the population trends for this species will soon approach the minimum levels that could suggest a potential decline in population. Due to this, population trends for the Yellow-bellied Sapsucker have a present evaluation level of Least Concern.

IBIRD EXPLORER GENERAL

PHOTO SHARING AND DISCUSSION

BIRD PHOTOGRAPHY

SUMMARY

Overview

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker: Medium woodpecker, black-and-white mottled upperparts, white rump, yellow-washed white underparts. Red throat, black border. Red crown, black-and-white striped face, neck. Dark wings have white shoulder patch. Black tail has black-barred, white center stripe.


Range and Habitat

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker: Breeds across Canada east of the Rockies to Labrador and Newfoundland and from South Dakota to Pennsylvania and New England and south through the Appalachians to northwest Georgia. Winters in the southeastern U.S., the West Indies, and Central America as far south as Panama. Prefers deciduous and mixed woods in foothills and lower montane regions.

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SONGS AND CALLS

Voice Text

"meow", "cheee-er, cheee-er", "hoih-hoih"

INTERESTING FACTS

  • The Yellow-bellied Sapsucker is considered a keystone species. Other species take advantage of the holes that the birds make in trees.
  • Originally a single species, Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers were differentiated into three species in 1983 – Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Red-naped Sapsucker and Red-breasted Sapsucker. Similarities among the three species and uniqueness of individual birds can make identification difficult.
  • They hybridize with both the Red-naped and Red-breasted Sapsuckers where populations overlap.
  • A group of sapsuckers are collectively known as a "slurp" of sapsuckers.

SIMILAR BIRDS

RANGE MAP

CERange Map for Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

FAMILY DESCRIPTION

TERMINOLOGY

CREDITS

Author

Gary Owen Dick

Artist

Irina Rud-Volga

HELP ME IDENTIFY A BIRD

BACKYARD BIRDING

BIRDS AND BIRDING

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UnderpartsX
Belly, undertail coverts, chest, flanks, and foreneck.
UpperpartsX
Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
CrownX
The crown is the top part of the birds head.
FaceX
The front part of the head consisting of the bill, eyes, cheeks and chin.
RumpX
The area between the uppertail coverts and the back of the bird.
ShoulderX
The short feathers overlying the median secondary coverts on the top of the wing. They are located near the back and can be seen as the “first row” of feathers on the birds wing. They are also called marginal coverts and lesser secondary coverts.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X