[Mnbird] Yellow bellied sapsucker
grapegriff at gmail.com
Mon Apr 10 13:31:24 CDT 2017
Over the weekend I had my FOY sapsuckers. I was struck by one particular
male. The red and black on the head, nape and throat popped. I was
actually within 6 feet of this bird as I was refilling my feeders. I just
paused and wondered at the vibrant fresh plumage. The bird tracked up a
small cedar with it's back to me and again the plumage was stunning and
blacker than I remember. A wonderful springtime experience.
Now for the reason for my post. I have spent a fair amount of time birding
the west coast over the last 30 years. I am relatively new to Mn and this
bird just seemed so much darker than the YBSS's I encountered on eastern
Long Island, where I spent my entire working life. So, I think, yellow
bellieds and red-naped hybridize. First, how common is this hybridization
and second, do the hybrids occur this far east. I believe it is virtually
impossible to separate these species visually or by song(as with the
I am not saying I say a hybrid. In all likelihood it was just a
particularly dark fresh plumaged yellow bellied. Just wondering. Thanks
for any input.
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