adult; red nape, crown, and throat (California, USA; 2009-04-05)

Red-naped Sapsucker
Sphyrapicus nuchalis

Native Range: North America

Notes: this species plus the Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Red-breasted Sapsucker, and Williamson's Sasucker constitute a related group of woodpeckers that specialize on drilling small tree holes from which they extract sap as an important part of their diet; each bird drills several parallel rows of small holes on a sapling tree and then visits the array repeatedly to collect the nutritious sap; all sapsuckers can be told from other woodpeckers by a large white band on the wing, evident both in flight and when perched.

showing red nape and white wing band (California, USA; 2009-04-05)

rows of small holes drilled for sap (California, USA; 2009-04-05)