Saturday, March 19, 2016

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

Last spring I found this Yellow-bellied Sapsucker gleaning insects in the treetops at the Cannon River Wilderness Area near Northfield. Sapsuckers are famous for drilling sap wells, and often damage trees in the process. In the spring, the wells harvest upward moving sap in tree xylem. Later wells capture downward-flowing phloem sap. Insects trapped in the sap wells are also consumed.

Sapsuckers also glean and probe for insects from tree bark and leaves. They sometimes capture insects in the air, in the manner of flycatchers. They also dine on tree buds. But most of their time is spent drilling and maintaining their wells. This dependence on live trees obliges sapsuckers to be our most migratory woodpecker.

No comments:

Post a Comment