Date: 3/5/18 3:12 pm
From: Cole Burrell via va-bird <va-bird...>
Subject: Re: [Va-bird] Red-naped Sapsucker

Please repost your photo

Thank you

Cole Burrell

Sent from my iPhone

> On Mar 5, 2018, at 5:55 PM, Frank Fogarty via va-bird <va-bird...> wrote:
> Hi Marlene,
> 1) No, sorry for confusion. We do not normally have Yellow-bellied
> Sapsuckers in the Great Basin, only Red-naped and Red-breasted and their
> (frequent) hybrids. I was stating this looks like a normal Yellow-bellied
> Sapsucker from the eastern United States, such as those that winter in
> Virginia.
> 2) When trying to identify a hybrid sapsucker, I would want to see at least
> some intermediate features or characteristics of both species. While the
> red nape patch is a feature of Red-naped, it has also been documented as a
> feature in presumably pure Yellow-bellied (this is mentioned in Winkler et
> al.'s " A Guide to the Woodpeckers of the World", Sibley, and Walters et
> al.'s account in BNA). It's possible that the reddish nape feathers
> represent some past or current gene flow between the two species, but I
> think it's a leap to suggest a hybrid purely on that feature. Hybridization
> can't be definitively ruled out without getting a DNA test, especially if
> the event was multiple generations back and given how frequently these two
> species hybridize, but my initial post was addressing the published
> assertion that this bird is a Red-naped Sapsucker.
> 3) I don't have any handy, but they must exist somewhere on google.
> 4) That throat frame feature is often misunderstood, in terms of
> distinguishing these two species. It's normal for RNSA to show some and
> sometimes a lot of black around the red throat patch. The distinction for
> RNSA, especially males, lies in whether there is substantial red bleeding
> into the black frame and, especially, red extending all the way through at
> any point to reach the white cheek patch. All of the birds shown in the
> link have that feature, whereas Marlene's bird appears to have a complete
> black frame with no visible red intruding.
> All these ID points can be subtle in the field and difficult to
> conclusively evaluate from a single photo or brief looks, and it's best to
> focus on the suite of features rather than a single mark. If additional
> photos exist, they could go a long way towards deciding between an unusual
> YBSA and a potential hybrid.
> As a potential first state record, was this bird submitted to VARCOM? I
> would be curious to read the committee's thoughts on this bird, especially
> if they had access to additional images and consulted some outside experts.
> Best,
> Frank Fogarty
> On Mon, Mar 5, 2018 at 1:48 PM, Marlene A Condon <marlenecondon...>
> wrote:
>> Hi Frank,
>> Thanks so much for writing. I didn't know we had California birders on
>> here!!!!
>> I have some questions, please.
>> (1) When you say that "this bird looks good for an normal adult male
>> Yellow-bellied Sapsucker", are you referring to the birds in the Great
>> Basin where you have surveyed for years? I have to say that the bird in my
>> photo does not look like any Yb Sap I've ever seen in the east. So, are
>> you saying "my" bird is from the Great Basin?
>> (2) What makes you say that a Yb Sap with a red nape is not necessarily a
>> hybrid? Are you saying that the Yb Sap has genes for this characteristic?
>> If so, could you please provide a reference for this statement?
>> (3) I looked online at many photos of Yb Saps and not one showed a red
>> nape. Could you please provide me with links to some pics?
>> (4) Here's the link to the Cornell pic of a Red-naped male with black
>> around the red. It's available to everyone (I'd thought it was in the
>> pay-to-view section).
>> I look forward to hearing from you!
>> Sincerely,
>> Marlene
>> In a message dated 3/5/2018 1:00:28 PM US Eastern Standard Time,
>> <fogartyfa...> writes:
>> Hi all,
>> As someone who has surveyed for Red-naped Sapsucker in the Great Basin for
>> years, I can feel confident saying this bird looks good for an normal adult
>> male Yellow-bellied Sapsucker. Red nape patches are uncommon in this
>> species but by no means unheard of or a definitive indication of hybrid
>> origin. I've seen this in the field on YBSA several times, and seen it in
>> photos dozens of times. The few brownish feathers high on the back are not
>> atypical in adults of any species and not necessarily indicative of this
>> being a Second-Year bird.
>> The two most important features for distinguishing these two species, the
>> latter of which was not mentioned at all in the ID, are the throat/malar
>> pattern and back pattern. This bird has a typical YBSA throat pattern, with
>> the red throat completely encased by a thick, black border. I have never
>> seen this in hundreds of RNSA I have surveyed, despite being on the look
>> out for hybrids. As an aside, I checked the BNA media archive for this
>> species and all of the birds there lack this feature and look fine for
>> RNSA. The back pattern of this bird, while not seen straight on, is
>> extensively white and messy which also supports a pure YBSA. RNSA typically
>> has less white on the back, with the white markings clustered into two
>> distinct, vertical lines.
>> Best,
>> Frank Fogarty
>> Davis, CA
>> On Mon, Mar 5, 2018 at 9:15 AM, Marlene A Condon via va-bird <
>> <va-bird...> wrote:
>>> Although I wasn't asked how I made my identification, I guess I should at
>>> least address what has been written here.
>>> Although some books make mention of Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers having a
>>> red nape, I have to ask, "How many people out there have ever seen this?"
>>> I have been paying attention to birds for as long as I can remember, while
>>> growing up in the Northeast, living out west, and living in Virginia. Not
>>> only have I never seen a YB Sap with a red nape, but as far as I can tell
>>> from this list serve, neither has anyone else.
>>> I might point out that the suggestion that a YB Sap has a red nape would
>>> mean the bird must carry Red-naped genes in order to express that red nape,
>>> which would make the bird a hybrid, not a YB Sap.
>>> Regarding that black border: You can find many pictures online of birds
>>> identified as Red-naped Sapsuckers that were taken out west by people who
>>> live out west, and the birds show a fully black-enclosed red area. In
>>> fact. if I recall correctly, I even found such a picture at the Cornell
>>> Birds of North America write-up on Red-naped Sapsuckers (the version you
>>> pay to access).
>>> After looking at many, many photos, and looking up this bird and Yb Sap
>>> in many, many books, I have to conclude that the I.D. characteristics are
>>> not set in stone, as some folks claim them to be. In fact, considering
>>> that all of these sapsuckers were once lumped together as one species, it's
>>> surprising anyone would think the field marks are that definitive.
>>> Sincerely,
>>> Marlene
>>> In a message dated 3/5/2018 9:40:02 AM US Eastern Standard Time,
>>> <va-bird...> writes:
>>> Marshall,
>>> I also think yellow-bellied. They can occasionally have a red nape, and
>>> the throat is completely bordered in black.
>>> Marc Ribaudo
>>> 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:
>>> 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.
>>> ___________________________
>>> Marshall Faintich
>>> Crozet, VA
>>> <marshall...>
>>> <>
>>> In real life, the shortest distance between two points is never a straight
>>> line, so you might as well enjoy the journey !!
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