More photos at bottom of post (click on “continue reading)
I came across a yellow-bellied sapsucker during a morning walk at Selleck’s Woods in Darien this morning (Saturday, April 21). (Yes, a sapsucker is a real bird.) This is a female sapsucker. The male would have a red throat in addition to the red on the head.
This is an interesting species I don’t find often enough, so given this opportunity I stood and watched it for some time. The bird was so busy with her own doings, she didn’t mind the audience.
It remained relatively low in a tree as it drilled holes through the bark. Sapsuckers drill shallow holes to try to get at the sap inside. (See, now you don’t have to wonder why it’s called a sapsucker.) Sapsuckers will also drill larger holes to get a flow of sap going, but the bird I watched stuck to the smaller holes.
Not only is the yellow-bellied sapsucker an interesting bird, it’s also a beautiful bird. Check out the colors — not only the obvious colors, such as the red head, but the subtle colors within its plumage.
Sapsuckers are often seen in New England in spring and fall. It is a migratory bird, which is rare among woodpeckers. Selleck’s Woods is Darien Land Trust Property, highlighting the importance of open space in our communities.
Have a comment or want to share your sightings? Drop me a line here.
Don’t forget to tune into BirdCallsRadio tomorrow (Sunday, April 22) as renowned birdwatcher Kenn Kaufman will be our species guest. We are very excited to have Kenn join BirdCallsRadio and it promises to be a lively show. Check us out from 1 to 2 p.m. every Sunday on 1490 WGCH or Listen Live. Also remember all past shows are available here.