Date: 3/5/18 6:38 am From: Marc Ribaudo via va-bird <va-bird...> Subject: Re: [Va-bird] Red-naped Sapsucker
Marshall, I also think yellow-bellied. They can occasionally have a red nape, and the throat is completely bordered in black.
Marc Ribaudo <moribaudo...>
On Monday, March 5, 2018 Marshall Faintich via va-bird <va-bird...> wrote: Marlene Condon posted a link to a photo of the Red-naped Sapsucker that she saw in Albemarle County. Although I have seen and photographed 100+ Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers, I have only seen one Red-naped Sapsucker, and that was a year ago in Arizona (photos can been viewed on my Woodpecker photo pages: http://www.faintich.net/Wildlife/NAmerica/Woodpeckers.htm)
As I have only seen one Red-naped Sapsucker, my posting here is really more of a question for learning than disputing Marlene's identification. The photo that she posted is clearly an interesting bird. When I first looked at it, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker jumped into my mind - perhaps the gizz, or posture of the bird. But this bird clearly has red on its nape. So I started checking references. Although Sibley's hardback field guide does not state the following, his electronic app states for Yellow-bellied, "nape, usually white, occasionally red." It also states that the throat of the Yellow-bellied Sapsucker has "limited red with a complete black border" as seen in Marlene's photo, whereas the Red-naped Sapsucker's throat has "extensive red with incomplete black border," which is also the case in my photos of this species taken in Arizona. Additionally, Sibley's hardback guide states that the Red-naped has white bars in two rows on its back, and the Yellow-bellied has messy white bars on its back. I can't tell from the side view on Marlene's photo what its back really looks like. I also can't see its white wing bar, but that feature might be covered by breast feathers.
So for those of you with expert knowledge of sapsuckers, is this bird a Red-naped or a variation of a Yellow-bellied? Either way, it's an interesting bird, and thanks to Marlene for posting the photo.