Daily Archives: January 21, 2012

Spotlight On Ohio Birds

YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER ( Sphyrapicus varius)

Family: Picidae

Order: Piciformes

Description: 8 1/2″  (22cm)  Adult male has a mainly black and white body plumage but note barring on back, wings, and tail and white patch on wings. Breast is black and underparts are otherwise grubby pale yellow with streaks and bars on flank. Head is well marked by red throat (which is bordered black) and crown, white stripe running below eye and curving around to breast and white strip behind eye. Adult female similar but throat is white.

Voice: Call is a nasal mewing “me-ah”. Drumming a distinctive slow irregular tapping, easily imitated be tapping on a tree with a stick.

Habitat: Breeds in young forests and along streams, especially in Aspen and Birch. Winters i n a variety of forests especially semi-open woods.

Nesting: Clutch size is 2-7 white eggs. Nests in the cavity of trees or dead branches.


FYI’S: The Yellow-bellied Sapsucker will drill 2 different types of holes. A round one that extends deep into the tree and a shallower rectangular hole.

They will use human-produced material such as street signs and metal chimney flashing to amplify their irregular tapping.

It is the only eastern North American woodpecker that is completely migratory.

Resource material provided by:

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology/ http://www.allaboutbirds.com