We 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.’!!