Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
(Sphyrapicus varius)

Order:  Piciformes
Family:  Picidae

Photo © Steven Russell Smith

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker Information

Length:  8 - 9"

Breeding habitat
: Deciduous and mixed forests, especially woods with aspen. Requires dead trees or trees with some soft wood for excavating nest cavities.

Winter habitat: Orchards, parks, woodlands.

Diet:  Tree sap and the inner bark of trees; insects such as ants, beetles, and moths; wild fruits and berries.

  Calls & sounds of Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

   Another photo of Yellow-bellied Sapsucker 

Additional Information

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Range, habitat, physical description, reproduction, lifespan, behavior, communication, food habits, predation, and conservation status. Includes photos. (From Animal Diversity Web)

Juvenile Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

© Steven Russell Smith

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Identification Tips

  • Medium-sized woodpecker
  • Black head traversed by white postocular stripe extending down neck
  • Red forehead
  • Pale moustachial stripe offsets black chest and complete, thick black border to throat
  • Black back with faint white bars
  • Black wings, with white barring on flight feathers and bold white patch on wing coverts
  • Yellow breast fades to whitish lower belly and vent, and is streaked sparsely about the flanks
  • White rump
  • Dark tail with black and white barring on centralmost and outermost retricies
  • Very rarely shows red nape spot
Adult male
  • Red throat
Adult female
  • White throat

(Credit: U. S. Geological Survey)

Breeding Bird Survey Map,

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker Breeding Map

(Image credit: USGS)

Winter Map from eBird

Sightings of the Yellow-bellied Sapsucker Nov-Mar over last 10 years