Yellow-Bellied Sapsucker 2
Sphyrapicus varius
Dec. 11, 2011

The yellow-bellied sapsucker was among my first State College, Pennsylvania, birding pages, so I thought it was time to update the sapsucker with more recent photos.

The sapsucker is a modest-size woodpecker with complex colors. The sexes - as with most woodpeckers - are easy to tell apart.

The first photo is of an immature sapsucker, a female most probably, since the top of her head is turning red, whereas her throat is white.

Immature female yellow-bellied sapsucker

Following is a mature female sapsucker, with a bright red head (and white throat).
Female yellow-bellied sapsucker

The male sapsucker has a bright red head and throat. Here, it is almost as if he's saying, "You lookin' at me?".
Male yellow-bellied sapsucker
  And then he launched straight toward me.
Incoming male yellow-bellied sapsucker

The female and male sapsuckers spent quality time together, chasing each other around a small part of the forest.

Photo note: I used a Pentax K20D, with the Sigma 150-500mm lens, on 11 Dec. 2011, for these photos.

My Pennsylvania bird list

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