‘An enterprising woodpecker . . .’

fullsizeoutput_30b1We saw and heard many beautiful woodpeckers at Corkscrew Swamp on a recent visit – Red-bellied Woodpeckers, Pileated Woodpeckers, and this beauty above. The vertical white wing patch (along with the yellow belly :-D) is a key distinguishing feature that tells me this is a female Yellow-bellied Sapsucker.  

Tree trunks lined with ‘distinctive, neatly organized rows of sapwells’ are a sure sign you’re in Yellow-bellied Sapsucker territory. The Yellow-bellied is ‘an enterprising woodpecker that laps up the leaking sap and any trapped insects with its specialized, brush-tipped tongue.’

Interstingly, bats and other birds, including hummingbirds, also rely on the sap harvested by these woodpeckers (All About Birds). In fact, some ‘Ruby-throated Hummingbirds rely so much on sapwells that they time their spring migration with the arrival of sapsuckers.’!!

6 thoughts on “‘An enterprising woodpecker . . .’

    • Thank you! There were all kinds of woodpeckers, high and low, literally everywhere around us that day! I also was unaware of the connection between hummingbirds and sapsuckers – fascinating stuff.

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