GALLERIES > BIRDS > PICIFORMES > PICIDAE > RED-BREASTED SAPSUCKER [Sphyrapicus ruber]
Location: Big Bear Lake, CA
Date: May 6, 2006
ID : 2762 [3888 x 2592]
The Red-breasted Sapsucker, Sphyrapicus ruber, is a medium-sized woodpecker.
Adults have a red head and upper chest; they have a white lower belly and rump. They are black on the back and wings with bars; they have a large white wing patch. Northern birds, S. r. ruber, have yellow bars on the back and yellow upper belly. Southern birds, S. r. daggetti, have white bars on the back and a pale belly. The wing barring is white in both variants.
Their breeding habitat is deciduous or mixed forests on the Pacific coast of North America. They nest in a tree cavity.
Northern birds migrate to the southern parts of the range; birds on the coast are often permanent residents.
Like other sapsuckers, these birds drill holes in trees and eat the sap as well as insects attracted to it. They sometimes catch insects in flight; they also eat seeds and berries.
These birds interbreed with the Red-naped Sapsucker or Yellow-bellied Sapsucker where their ranges overlap.