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Thread: Yellow-bellied Sapsucker or other sapsucker/woodpecker?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2010

    Default Yellow-bellied Sapsucker or other sapsucker/woodpecker?

    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?
    Bird & Wildlife Sightings Citizen Science

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2010

    Default Piliated woodpecker

    Just found a reference to the Pileated Woodpecker. The markings and size are identical. These woodpeckers actually get up to 45cm and the ones I saw were likely bigger than my conservative estimate of 25cm, just couldnt bring myself to say it could be 40cm long as it seemed just too odd for anything around here to be that large.
    Bird & Wildlife Sightings Citizen Science

  3. #3
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2012


    Yep,you got it right eventually.Great shots by the way

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Co. Leitrim, Eire


    Junponline; I haven't got a clue about the birds ye mention there. Nor am I in the SAS. I'm not an " Aborigine " either. Bear with me .....

    I once saw a programme where they pitted the Australian SAS against a bunch of Aborigines. The idea was to see which lot could get across some god forsaken tract of out back the fastest.

    The SAS set off, all steely eyed and set jawed. Read their maps and strode out.

    The Abo's wandered into the sunset. Scratching their behinds and muttering about " Honey Ants ".

    By half way through the programme, it was neck and neck. Then, out of the blue, the Abo's basically said; " Ah, look ..... Sod This for a game of 'Walkabout ~ in front of the cameras'. Ye wanna see something really cool? "

    And they just dropped the silly, race, idea. Took the camera crew to gaze upon a pond. But, a pond that was sacred to their people.

    Then, there's the time. many decades ago ..... I'm in school and Mr Kilbride, Maths and TD teacher tells us how some famous artist heard a king wanted a portrait of himself painting.

    Da Vinci ~ as I suspect it would have been (I can't remember) turned up and declared He was the kiddie ye king there needed.Word!

    When said king asked Leo' where that home boy thought he was coming from, the Big L simply blew over to the wall and drew a whack off big circle on it. Said, " Pffftt! ". And went about his business.

    This king then got in all his best heads. He had them check out this circle on the wall. Which they did. They came at it from every angle. With every tool in their boxes. Ran every test they knew how to.

    It was an infallibly perfect circle. Drawn, 'freehand'. Leonardo got the job.

    Now; Look at that 'hole'. Top left, there.

    This is why this place'll never grow too

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