Date: 9/30/17 7:34 pm
From: David Seibel <dseibelphoto...>
Subject: Re: Morton County Question
I was just writing a reply with the same reference, Chuck! Here's the
relevant quote from the article, which refers to the mystery sapsucker that
I found in December 2001 on the Lawrence CBC. It looked superficially like
a male Red-naped but actually had too much red on the head, breast, and
throat - and turned out to be a female (!) that was at least 4 years old.
We wrote:

It is conceivable that the abnormal amount of red on the throat and upper
> breast are the result of ... an unknown aging phenomenon, perhaps related
> to reduced hormone levels (e.g., estrogen). Older females in some species
> may acquire male-like plumage, e.g., Summer Tanager (Pyle 1997, Owens and
> Short 1995).
>

As far as I know, this phenomenon remains unknown in sapsuckers, however.
The Lawrence bird was almost certainly a hybrid Yellow-bellied x
Red-breasted (not Red-naped) Sapsucker, likely representing the only genes
of a Red-breasted Sapsucker ever to have been transported to Kansas. The
article also reviews field ID characters for sapsuckers.

Tony Leukering (https://goo.gl/P5DNuQ) discusses a similar pitfall to the
one Chris mentioned, but with the species reversed: Some female Red-naped
Sapsuckers have almost completely red throats, making them look like male
Yellow-bellied. He also reviews helpful field marks.

-David Seibel
www.davidseibel.com
www.BirdsInFocus.com


On Sat, Sep 30, 2017 at 8:28 PM, Chuck & Jaye Otte <otte2...> wrote:

> North American Birds, 2005, Issue Number 2 has an article about
> sapsuckers that was prompted by an unusual sapsucker that was in eastern
> KS. I believe it can be found online at:
>
> https://sora.unm.edu/node/116385
>
> Chuck
>
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