Return of the Sapsuckers

Some of our woodpeckers – Downy, Hairy, Pileated – are year-round residents in the North Woods. Others – the Northern Flicker and the Yellow-bellied Sapsucker – are migrants, only here for the breeding season. Both of the migratory woodpeckers have just turned up here on campus in the last week or so, and my first inkling that the sapsuckers had arrived was hearing their distinctive irregular drumming. Taptaptap-tap-tap–tap—tap! (Click here to listen.)

This morning while I was rambling around a male flew in and landed on a nearby trunk at eye-level, posing for a few photos.

019I’ve written before about sapsuckers’ interesting foraging habits – as their name suggests, they drill small holes in tree trunks and feed off the sap. I like these guys. That red cap and throat are a beautiful pop of color.

018After a long, snowy winter, it is awfully nice to see (and hear) the spring birds returning to the forest.

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3 thoughts on “Return of the Sapsuckers”

  1. Thank you for sending that marvelous resource! I bookmarked it. I went bird walking with your mom and started learning a little…but wanting to clarify, this is wonderful. During my non-busy times to come!

  2. I quite like the sapsuckers, too, and always look forward to their return in the spring. I actually got my first of the year in our suburban subdivision a few weeks ago; it surprised me as there are not a lot of huge trees where I live and he was in a skinny sapling.

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