Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

name = Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
status = LC
status_system = iucn3.1
status_ref = IUCN2007|assessors=BirdLife International|year=2004|id=47306|title=Sphyrapicus varius|downloaded=31 July 2007 Database entry includes justification for why this species is of least concern]

image_caption = Male
regnum = Animalia
phylum = Chordata
classis = Aves
ordo = Piciformes
familia = Picidae
genus = "Sphyrapicus"
species = "S. varius"
binomial = "Sphyrapicus varius"
binomial_authority = (Linnaeus, 1766)

The Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, "Sphyrapicus varius", is a medium-sized woodpecker.


The Yellow-bellied Sapsucker is part of the New World sapsucker genus Sphyrapicus which is within the woodpecker family Picidae The genus also includes the Red-naped Sapsucker, Red-breasted Sapsucker and Williamson's Sapsucker.


Adults are black on the back and wings with white bars; they have a black head with white lines down the side and a red forehead and crown, a yellow breast and upper belly, a white lower belly and rump and a black tail with a white central bar. Adult males have a red throat; females have a white throat.


They drum and give a cat-like call in spring to declare ownership of territory.

Distribution and Habitat

Their breeding habitat is forested areas across Canada, eastern Alaska and the northeastern United States. They prefer young, mainly deciduous forests. There is also a disjunct population found in high elevations of the Appalachian Mountains in Virginia, Tennessee, and North Carolina.

Ecology and Behavior


Like other sapsuckers, these birds drill holes in trees and eat the sap and insects drawn to it. They may also pick insects from tree trunks or catch them in flight. They also eat fruit and berries.


Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers nest in a large cavity excavated in a deciduous tree, often choosing one weakened by disease; the same site may be used for several years.

They will mate with the same partner from year to year, as long as both birds survive. They sometimes hybridize with Red-naped Sapsuckers or Red-breasted Sapsuckers where their breeding ranges overlap.

Wintering and Migration

These birds migrate to the southeastern United States, West Indies and Central America, leaving their summer range. This species has occurred as a very rare vagrant to Ireland and Great Britain.


External links

* [ Yellow-bellied Sapsucker Species Account] - Cornell Lab of Ornithology
* [ Yellow-bellied Sapsucker Information and Photos] - South Dakota Birds and Birding
* [ Yellow-bellied Sapsucker - "Melanerpes carolinus"] - USGS Patuxent Bird Identification InfoCenter
* [ Stamps] (for Antigua and Barbuda, Barbuda, Dominica, El Salvador, Nevis-(Saint Kitts and Nevis), Turks and Caicos Islands)
* [ Yellow-bellied Sapsucker videos] on the Internet Bird Collection
* [ Yellow-bellied Sapsucker photo gallery] VIREO

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • yellow-bellied sapsucker — ☆ yellow bellied sapsucker n. a sapsucker (Sphyrapicus varius) with a red head and yellowish underparts …   English World dictionary

  • yellow-bellied sapsucker — geltonpilvis sulčius statusas T sritis zoologija | vardynas atitikmenys: lot. Sphyrapicus varius angl. yellow bellied sapsucker vok. Gelbbauch Saftlecker, m rus. дятел сосун, m; желтобрюхий дятел сосун, m pranc. pic maculé, m ryšiai: platesnis… …   Paukščių pavadinimų žodynas

  • yellow-bellied sapsucker — noun eastern North American sapsucker having a pale yellow abdomen • Syn: ↑Sphyrapicus varius • Hypernyms: ↑sapsucker …   Useful english dictionary

  • yellow-bellied sapsucker — a woodpecker, Sphyrapicus varius, of eastern North America, having a red patch on the forehead and black and white plumage with a pale yellow abdomen, and feeding on sap from trees. [1905 10, Amer.] * * * …   Universalium

  • yellow-bellied sapsucker — noun A type of woodpecker. (Sphyrapicus varius) …   Wiktionary

  • Yellow-bellied — may refer to:In ornithology:* Yellow bellied Elaenia, small bird of the tyrant flycatcher family * Yellow bellied Fantail, fantail found in southern Asia * Yellow bellied Flycatcher, small insect eating bird of the tyrant flycatcher family *… …   Wikipedia

  • yellow-bellied woodpecker — noun see yellow bellied sapsucker …   Useful english dictionary

  • yellow-belliedsapsucker — yellow bellied sapsucker n. A sapsucker (Sphyrapicus varius) having a yellowish belly and in the male a scarlet crown and throat. * * * …   Universalium

  • bellied — [bel′ēd] adj. having a belly, esp. of a specified kind [the yellow bellied sapsucker] …   English World dictionary

  • sapsucker — /sap suk euhr/, n. any of several American woodpeckers of the genus Sphyrapicus that drill holes in maple, apple, hemlock, etc., drinking the sap and eating the insects that gather there. Cf. yellow bellied sapsucker. [1795 1805, Amer.; SAP1 +… …   Universalium

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