Monday, February 3, 2020

Red-breasted Sapsucker

Two Red-breasted Sapsuckers, the first being banded in our Olympia backyard on 17 May 2019, the second working a tree trunk at the Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge on 1 February 2020. I do not know what to make of the pale bill of the Nisqually bird. Various photos float around the internet showing these sapsuckers with pale bills. I do not think it is age or sex-related. In The Birds of North America, Walters et al. (2014) list only black for bill color—yet their account shows photographs of pale-billed individuals. Possibly pale-billed birds are deformed. In some images, including mine, the pale bill appears to be abnormally thin and long.

1 comment:

  1. Absolutely stunning photos - do you have any full body
    of the top pic? Very majestic handsome bird.
    Thanks much for all of these informative blogs.

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