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Posts Tagged ‘Sphyrapicus varius’

Its body was in the shadows, so I couldn’t see its belly, but I am pretty confident that this beautiful bird that I saw on Friday at Huntley Meadows Park is a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (Sphyrapicus varius), a species of woodpecker that I rarely see.

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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Bird identification should be easier.  Once again I have photographed a bird and I am not sure of its identity. I am confident that it is a woodpecker, but beyond that, doubts begin to creep in and none of the pictures in my identification guide really match the bird in my photos.

The woodpecker is a lot bigger than the Downy Woodpeckers that I frequently see, but smaller than the Pileated Woodpeckers that I see less often. The black-and-white pattern on its back seems different from any that I have seen before. In some of the photos, I detect a little bit of red just above the bill, especially in the last image.

So what is it? Well, if I were to hazard a guess, I’d say it might be an immature Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (Sphyrapicus varius).

I’d welcome assistance from more experienced birders in identifying my mystery woodpecker.

Yellow-bellied SapsuckerYellow-bellied SapsuckerYellow-bellied Sapsucker

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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