Friday, December 02, 2011

More on My Visitor

I did some research on the Yellow-bellied sapsucker because of a comment or two to my post.  These birds are only temporary in my neighborhood as this is the upper range for their winter home.   The females fly all the way to Central America for the winter months. They breed mostly up north and in the woods of Canada, so I will never see a nesting pair.  This siting in my yard was rare.
They are essential to other birds such as humming birds and some mammals with the sap they get the trees to release.  Many species benefit from the sweet sap and humming birds would not be able to stay in the woods of Canada without the sapsucker since there are few flowers for them to use.  Sapsuckers also eat the insects that come to the sap holes and include berries in their diet.

In the spring the male may use traffic signs or other metal for tapping to declare his territory.  The males are the better parent, selecting the site early and creating the nest.  They also incubate the eggs in the evening and if one of the parents meet with death, the male is the most likely to be successful in raising the birds on his own.  Fascinating stuff.

13 comments:

Denise at Autumn Sky said...

I was never been a fan of birds. But as time goes on, I enjoy reading about them and learning their unique traits. Plus it's so rewarding to capture the photos. I can understand how people create hobbies around them.

Celia said...

Kudos on your rare sighting. I wonder if more of this will happen. Over the last five years here in SE Washington we have acquired migrating brown pelicans and well as the established white ones. They seem to attribute it to the weather changes, global warming and so on. And I got a bluebird in my yard last year. I've never actually seen one before. Odd times.

Jenny Woolf said...

Fascinating. Wonder what they did in the days before road signs :)

I would love to see one of these lovely little birds.

Brian Miller said...

interesting how they provide for the others in the sap and still use it themselves...cool stuff

Pauline said...

How interesting - I didn't know that they helped hummingbirds find food. Wonderful photo of that telltale yellow belly.

Granny Annie said...

I remember a friend who called people he thought were cowards "Yellow bellied sapsuckers". I guess I never really thought of them as real birds. Thanks for the information.

Hilary said...

Very interesting. I'll remember that when I see our hummingbirds at the cottage.

Dave said...

That's interesting Tabor. it show how nature uses one variety of creature to help another - Dave

Peruby said...

Granny Annie - when my siblings and I were younger we were not allowed to cuss, but it sure sounded nasty when we called somebody a "yellow-bellied sap sucker!" And technically we were not cussing. :)

Deborah Carr said...

We have quite a few sapsuckers here. There is a little corridor of birches along my trail, ringed with rows of even holes - their hunting handiwork. I often wake on a summer morning to their tapping on the transformers or any metal they can find. It's gotta be hard on the beaks and I wonder what they do for headaches.

CiCi said...

Some of us didn't know we had so much interest in birds until we found ourselves in a position and life situation to view the birds up close and personal. Since my move to Nebraska, I have become enchanted with the variety of birds and the different seasons bring back same birds. Right before the first snow the cardinal, doves, snow birds and some woodpeckers are hanging at the backyard table just like they did last year. I too will go read up on your yellow bellied bird. I haven't seen one here.

Rubye Jack said...

I've just recently gotten into watching birds, but from my window I mostly only see crows and hawks here in SE Oklahoma. I've seen an eagle a couple of times. I'm like you in that whenever I need to make a decision, I can often find myself staring out the window.

Dave King said...

Thanks for the additional info'. Two cracking posts!