Saw 2 large woodpeckers, maybe 25cm tail to head, February 20, 2012, Upper Economy, Nova Scotia. They were actively pecking some pretty large holes in a tree. Lots of woods, coastline and farmland nearby.
The scarlet head and scarlet sliver just beneath the bill suggests to me its a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker as there's nothing else this size and color in this area. Other woodpeckers are smaller and just have a small red path on head.
The pictures cannot confirm any yellow on breast and usually the nap is scarlet for the male so I'm not totally convinced. I thought it was rather large too for a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker. Normally they dont winter here but its been a warm winter. There's also a lacking white vertical stripe.
Was this just a winter variation with the male nap only partially scarlet red?
Would they be foraging for sap this time of year? Do other wintering woodpeckers do the same in winter?