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Sunday, February 1, 2015

Only the second -- Part 2

Okay, this time I didn't cheat.

I found a few minutes this morning to look for the Williamson's Sapsucker in Santa Rosa.  She was high up on the trunk of the tree, and very busy, but here are a few pictures for the record.

Note the brown head and extensive barring on the back.  Although a little fuzzy, the next picture is the best one that shows the partly black breast and the yellow belly.

I posted a picture of a male Williamson's Sapsucker (from Yosemite) a couple of nights ago.  When first discovered (scientifically), the male and female looked so different it was thought they were two different species. 

I learned that the females may winter at lower elevations than the males, and they may also use a greater diversity of habitats (according to the Birds of North America account).

I mentioned that this sapsucker was "very busy."  She was chipping bark off the tree to create sap wells.  You can see the results of her efforts in the image below where the reddish bark has been exposed.  The Birds of North America account reports that Williamson's Sapsuckers primarily eat sap and phloem fibers during the non-breeding season.

Here's one more picture I just couldn't help including this action shot — of the sapsucker flinging a large piece of bark off the trunk:

A Williamson's Sapsucker in the morning, and a Patriots win in the evening — not a bad day!  ;)

P.S.  By the way, it appears that this sapsucker has been utilizing a Deodar Cedar (Cedrus deodara) a tree native to the Himalayas (around 3,500-12,000 feet).  I'm not familiar with this tree, but I was interested to learn about it and its distribution, as Williamson's Sapsuckers are normally found at mid-high elevations (around 5,000-10,500 feet) during the breeding season.

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