I had spotted a female Williamson's Sapsucker at Lakeside Cemetery in Canon City, CO last week. This is another location where sapsuckers have wintered in most years. However, I wasn't sure if this female might be the same one that I had found at Centennial Park, which is about a mile from this location (at least as the crow/sapsucker flies) as I have found in previous years that sapsuckers work in areas this far apart. I spotted a sapsucker flying but quickly realized it was a male Williamson's. Soon after I was very surprised to find that there were two male Williamson's Sapsuckers not only working the pine trees in this cemetery but seeming to chase each other from tree to tree then feed only a few feet apart without apparent antagonism--that seems most unusual.
To see if one of these males might be the male Williamson I have been following just outside of Canon City and only a few miles from this cemetery I drove immediately to where it has been working in a small group of elm trees--it was there so it seems most likely that these are two additional male Williamson's Sapsuckers. SeEtta
I also found this small flock of Dowitchers feeding in an irrigation pond in Pueblo County yesterday. I believe these are most likely Long-billed Dowitchers but they didn't give any calls, the best way to separate them from Short-billed Dowitchers. Plus they were quite distant and the light dwindling as it was almost dusk so I was not able to make out the field marks necessary for an accurate identification. It is getting a little late for even Long-billed Dowitchers to be migrating through Colorado and some/all of these may be juveniles.
In a larger nearby pond were 4-5 Snow Geese and lots of common waterfowl but they were even further away so photos were not good. SeEtta
I was able to get a little better pic, albeit a back view, of this Williamson's Sapsucker, that I have added as the top pic.
Today I also found this female Williamson's Sapsucker in Canon City,CO today, but this one was feeding in the pines at Centennial Park, another location that has hosted wintering sapsuckers over the past 6 years. This female was high up the tree and quite shy so the pic is not as good as some of the other sapsucker pics. SeEtta
I found this male Red-naped Sapsucker yesterday, also on the grounds of the Abbey in Canon City,CO. Red-naped Sapsuckers have occasionally wintered in Canon City. They are also a species that is known to migrate south, even further south than Williamson's, to winter in south New Mexico and West Texas as well as Mexico.
This male shows a clear though not extensive red nape. I added the bottom pic as it shows well the difference in back pattern between Red-naped and Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers with this species showing 2 rows of white feathers that are fairly well demarcated (while the white on the back of Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers is much more diffuse). SeEtta
Canon City, CO has hosted wintering sapsuckers every year for the past 7 years when I found the first one, also a Williamson's, on the grounds of the Abbey (a former monastery and Catholic boarding school with a large campus that has hundreds of trees of diverse species).
I found the female Williamson's Sapsucker in these photos a week ago in the same location on the Abbey grounds as most of the sapsuckers that have previously wintered in Canon City. Williamson's Sapsuckers generally migrate south to winter in New Mexico and down into Mexico.
I included the bottom pic because it shows some of the underside of this sapsucker including a small amount of the pretty lemon yellow belly that distinguishes this species. Also the black breast band found on adult female Williamson's. More sapsuckers in following posts. SeEtta