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Documentation of Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

Observer Information

Reporter:  Ted Floyd 
Other Observers:  Jeff Gordon, Liz Gordon, Hannah Floyd, Andrew Floyd.; Jeff Gordon pointed the bird out, and Ted Floyd identified it.

Species, Date, Time and Location Information

Species:  Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
First Date/Time:  2/27/2011
Last Date/Time: 
Duration (total time in view):  2 minutes
County:  Otero
Specific Location:  37.7177968 North, 103.5175234 West. Additional site description provided at: http://tinyurl.com/4flp7f5
Number:  1
Age:  Unknown
Sex:  Unknown
Plumage:  Other/Unknown

Habitat

Viewing Conditions

Optics:  10X binoculars for me and, I believe, for Jeff Gordon.
Distance:  Between 40 and 125 feet.
Light:  Diffuse hazy sunshine. Bird moved around, being to the left of, the right of, and right in the sunlight.

Description of the Bird

We first saw the bird climbing up a tree, jerkily so, like a woodpecker.

Easily identified as a sapsucker by its small-medium size, bold vertical white wing bar (upper wing coverts) on bird at rest, and dusky gray/black/brown barring all over.

The bird appeared to have no red on the head. Thus it retained much of its juvenal plumage, which point is relevant to separation from Red-naped Sapsucker (see below). It was dusky and barred all over, with extensive barring on the back.
Behaviors: Woodpecker-like, it climbed up a tree. It flew from branch to branch among several trees.
Call: None heard.
Plumage: juvenile

Similar Species Discussion

Based on overall plumage and time of year, only the Red-naped Sapsucker is really a contender. These two can be quite tricky, of course! A key point in favor of Yellow-bellied Sapsucker is that the bird retained most of its juvenal plumage. By late February, I would expect a Red-naped Sapsucker to have a mainly adult plumage aspect, certainly not shown by this bird. The extensive pale barring on the back was also good for Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, as was an overall pale-brownish plumage aspect.

One other thing is that I think Yellow-bellied Sapsucker is the more likely species, by probability, in southeastern Colorado in the winter.

Resources Used

None.

Previous Experience

I have seen hundreds of Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers and Red-naped Sapsuckers within their typical ranges. I have also seen a few Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers previously in Colorado.

Notes

Notes made AFTER observation

Additional Information

Comments: NOTE: I'M NOT SURE IF DOCUMENTATION IS NECESSARY FOR THIS SPECIES!! IT'S LISTED AS A REVIEW SPECIES HERE:

http://www.cfo-link.org/birding/rba.php

BUT IT'S NOT IN THE PULL-DOWN MENU ON THE "SUBMIT" FORM. WELL, HERE'S THE REPORT. YOU FIGURE OUT WHAT TO DO WITH IT!
Time: 11:15 a.m.
Elevation:
Other Dates: None that I know of.
Nearest Town: La Junta
Independent Observers: Jeff Gordon pointed the bird out, and Ted Floyd identified it.

Materials Available



No files uploaded.

Date Documentation Submitted

3/29/2011 4:14:00 PM

Location Map

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