Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (Sphyrapicus varius)

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Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (Sphyrapicus varius) is the second featured woodpecker for my ‘A Bestiary’ – antidotal tales and more about the wildlife living in and around Flower Hill Farm Retreat. You can read more about these valuable by clicking on Native Plants and Wildlife Gardens. These industrious members of the Picidae family contribute to the bird community in surprising ways.

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Sphyrapicus varius

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Sphyrapicus varius

It is easy to see the inspiration behind the name ‘Yellow-bellied’.

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Sphyrapicus varius

A male Yellow-bellied Sapsucker tending his wells.

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Sphyrapicus varius

A female (without a red cap) visiting the same wells . . . the patterns they drill are quite artistic and so far do not appear to hurt the Hawthorn tree. The rectangular carvings are a mystery to me.

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Sphyrapicus varius

An immature Yellow-bellied Sapsucker on a Crabapple tree in the small orchard . . . note the carefully drilled holes placed in tidy rows. The white band on the wings are not yet fully developed . . . this is a telltale sign that marks this woodpecker from other .

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Sphyrapicus varius

Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers have been part of the community of birds here at Flower Hill Farm for as long as I can remember and we have been here since 1978. Not one tree has ever been lost due to their bill work. If you have time you may enjoy learning more by visiting the site above.

Carol Duke

Carol Duke

Carol Duke is an artist and farmer who has worked with the land on a Western Massachusetts hillside for over thirty years. During this time her land has evolved into a diverse wildlife habitat. Carol features the flora and fauna that live and visit her farm on her blog http://flowerhillfarm.blogspot.com/ As vital wildlife habitats are destroyed daily, Carol hopes to inspire others to garden for wildlife, while becoming activists for wild places the world over. Her nature photography has appeared in magazines, books and newspapers.

Carol Duke

Carol Duke

Carol Duke is an artist and farmer who has worked with the land on a Western Massachusetts hillside for over thirty years. During this time her land has evolved into a diverse wildlife habitat. Carol features the flora and fauna that live and visit her farm on her website and blog http://caroldukeflowers.com As vital wildlife habitats are destroyed daily, Carol hopes to inspire others to garden for wildlife, while becoming activists for wild places the world over. Her nature photography has appeared in magazines, books and newspapers.

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Susan Lee

I remember these bright, busy birds working along the apple tree trunks on my grandparents’ property in New Jersey. Miss them in Florida! Thank you for the article and great photos!

Susan Lee

I remember these bright, busy birds working along the apple tree trunks on my grandparents' property in New Jersey. Miss them in Florida! Thank you for the article and great photos!

Georg Baun

Love all of them 🙂

Georg Baun

Love all of them 🙂