Sunday, December 15, 2013

Female Sapsucker-what about the nape?



In the previous photos of the female sapsucker the nape area was not in view and this is an important area as we know for separating Red-naped from Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers. As noted in several references " Male yellow-bellied sapsuckers can rarely show some red on the nape" (from NationalGeographic.com); however, this is not noted for female Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers. As seen in this photo, as well as in the field when I put my 40X Zeiss spotting scope on her, this sapsucker has a small amount of red on her nape. Below is the scoring examples from Migration Research Foundation-McGill Bird Observatory chart--I rate this again as right smack in the middle between "traces of red' and 'red restricted to about half-length or half width'.    
I will post a better photo for the back of this sapsucker in my next post as the bird is twisted a little in this photo which distorts the white on it's back. SeEtta