Now that is a name that says a lot about a bird.
In all the years I have been feeding birds and watching birds, I had never encountered a Yellow Bellied Sapsucker, until a week ago.
It was after our last snow event that I noticed a bird hanging out on the trunks of the three walnut trees in our backyard.
Initially I thought it was a downy woodpecker, but it was larger. Then I thought well it must be a harrier woodpecker or a red bellied woodpecker, but the coloring on its body was different and it had a solid large red band across the top of its head, not the red smaller spot that is on top of a male Downy/Harrier's head.
Taking out my binoculars and then consulting a few bird websites on line, I realized it is a female yellow bellied sapsucker. My first sighting!
Gosh what a name!
Yes this bird has that bit of yellow on its belly and yes it was pecking away on those few trees in order to get the sap flowing.
Its behavior was also different from the other birds mentioned. It basically was hanging around a small area and seemed happy to be there for long periods of time.
I guess the sap has started to flow in trees with the sun appearing higher in the sky and longer days of daylight.
After few days I happened to see the squirrels chasing it away, then they would investigate the spots the bird had been pecking, possibly, lapping the trunk, guessing they were able to taste some of the sap.
I was happy to see this bird in our yard for a few days.
But I am sad to say it seems to have moved on. I guess the squirrels just didn’t want it around or it moved on to other trees.
Well, while it was here it was a treat!