Red-breasted sapsucker Sphyrapicus ruber


Identification Tips:

Northern subspecies (S. r. ruber):

Southern subspecies (S.r.daggetti):

Juvenile:

Similar species:

White patch on wing coverts sets sapsuckers apart from all other woodpeckers. Only the Red-headed Woodpecker is vaguely similar in pattern, but does not overlap in range and could be easily distinguished by its white secondaries (rather than wing coverts). Beware of hybridization with Red-naped Sapsucker as well, and use caution when identifying atypical birds. The juvenal plumage is similar to Red-naped and Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers, but is very briefly held and is paler about the chest.

Length and wingspan from: Robbins, C.S., Bruun, B., Zim, H.S., (1966). Birds of North America. New York: Western Publishing Company, Inc.


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