adult male; relatively little sexual dimorphism (California, USA; 2008-02-16)

Red-breasted Sapsucker
Sphyrapicus ruber

Native Range: North America

Notes: a sapsucker of the Pacific region, this species plus the Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Red-naped Sapsucker, and Williamson's Sapsucker constitute a related group of woodpeckers that specialize in drilling shallow tree holes from which they extract sap as an important part of their diet; each bird drills several parallel holes on a sapling and then visits the array repeatedly to collect sap; all of these sapsuckers can be told from other woodpeckers by a long white wingpatch, evident in flight or while perched.

adult male; entire head and breast bright red (California, USA; 2008-02-02)

juvenile; brown with distinctive wing patch (California, USA; 2006-08-05)

juvenile showing its white wing patch (California, USA; 2006-08-05)

characteristic pattern of tree drilling (California, USA; 2008-02-16)