Williamson's Sapsucker

Sphyrapicus thyroideus




Woodpeckers (Picidae)

Code 4


Code 6



Egg Color:


Number of Eggs:

3 - 7

Incubation Days:

12 - 14

Egg Incubator:

Both sexes

Nest Location:

3 - 60 feet above ground.

Nest Material:

Few wood chips in tree.





Williamson's Sapsucker: Medium-sized woodpecker with black back and white rump. Throat is bright red, breast is black, belly is yellow, and flanks are barred black-and-white. Black head has white facial stripes. Wings are black with large white patches. Female is pale brown and black-barred overall with brown head, darker brown cap and throat, black breast and yellow belly.

Range and Habitat

Williamson's Sapsucker: Breeds from southern British Columbia south to southern California, central Arizona, and central New Mexico. Spends winters in the southern part of breeding range and in the southwest and Mexico. Ponderosa pine forests, open coniferous forests, and subalpine forests in the southwest are preferred habitats.

Breeding and Nesting

Williamson's Sapsucker: Three to seven white eggs are laid in a cavity in a pine or fir tree; although nesting trees are reused, a new hole is chiseled each time. Incubation ranges from 12 to 14 days and is carried out by both parents.

Foraging and Feeding

Williamson's Sapsucker: Feeds on sap, bark cambium, ants, wood-boring larvae, and moths of spruce budworms; drills holes in trees, returning to feed on seeping sap.

Readily Eats

Suet, Sunflower Seed, Nuts, Sugar Water, Fruit


Williamson's Sapsucker: Call is a soft, nasal "churrr" that descends in pitch.

Similar Species

Williamson's Sapsucker: American Three-toed, Hairy and Downy woodpeckers lack bold, white wing patch, red chin, and yellow wash on belly.

The ventral part of the bird, or the area between the flanks on each side and the crissum and breast. Flight muscles are located between the belly and the breast.
The upper front part of a bird.
The area on top of the head of the bird.
The area between the uppertail coverts and the back of the bird.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X