Date: 1/5/21 7:47 pm
From: Scott Somershoe <ssomershoe...>
Subject: [cobirds] The Morrison hybrid Sapsucker
I'm posting for Steve Mlodinow as his emails to CO-Birds are bouncing for
some reason (I thought 2020 was over?). :)
Scott Somershoe, Littleton CO

Greetings All

The Morrison sapsucker is the same one that was found nearby in November.
At that time, I saw it along with Chris Wood, and we both felt strongly
that it was a Red-naped x Red-breasted Sapsucker. It is quite similar to
hybrids that I saw in the Pacific Northwest (where the southern race of RB
Sapsucker is not a concern).

From Chris Wood:

I think the single best thing to look for is the area behind the eye and
eyeline. Typically there is no white to a very small white spot behind the
eye. The extreme tends to be a small white spot with a very narrow line
continuing – this narrow line is narrower than the white spot. This is
quite different from the broader white line like you see on this bird,
which is as wide as the white spot behind the eye. This helps offset the
dark cheek even more than you pure RB. This is subtle, but I think
noticeable when you look for it. I’ve not seen this shown by a pure
Red-breasted. There is quite a bit of variation here, but I think if you
look at the images again, you will see what I’m talking about. Also note
the dark nape, which is typical of hybrids. This varies by the position of
the head, and you often don’t see it until the head is turned at the
correct angle.

Also, it took but a quick look at Macaulay Library to ferret out the
following hybrids that look rather similar to the Morrison bird

From WA

From OR

Best Wishes
Steven Mlodinow
Longmont, CO

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