So this is a double post–an entry into the photography challenge (slightly late–but day 3), and an announcement of an additional woodpecker page.
Last month I managed to get a couple pictures of this woodpecker at the small suet feeder, and I think I noticed it several times before (but never had my camera on me). As I mentioned on the page–I spent a month thinking it was the hairy woodpecker, because it was larger than a downy woodpecker, but alas it turns out to be the yellow-bellied sapsucker instead.
While it is a winter resident within Oklahoma, I’m pretty sure that this is the first time I’ve seen one up close and not on a tree.
As their name implies–they prefer to eat the sugar rich sap of certain trees, but in some cases they can be found eating at suet feeders. It looks like they prefer the more ‘lardy’ suet to the ones that are caked in seeds.
Since it wasn’t showing a bright red neck, I’m pretty certain that this was a female yellow-bellied sapsucker that was getting a meal before possibly starting her trek north to her breeding grounds.
While I know that I won’t be seeing these birds again until winter–I’m hoping that maybe I will also be able to spot a male at the suet feeder as well. We do have a maple tree in the front yard, so I will be keeping an eye out to see if any decide to start ‘tapping’ it for its sap.
With the addition of the yellow-bellied sapsucker, I’ve gotten pictures of 6 of the 23 species that can be spotted within the US. One goal is going to be trying to get a picture of the hairy woodpecker (for real), I know that it is larger than the downy, and that their bill is longer than the downy’s bill at some point this year.
I have noticed that the red-bellied woodpecker and the downy woodpecker are back (though in truth–they never left) at the feeders, it will be interesting to see what other woodpeckers come through this year as well.