2009 S Fork Dr,
Jeff Gordon, Liz Gordon, Hannah Floyd, Andrew Floyd.; Jeff Gordon pointed the bird out, and Ted Floyd identified it.
Species, Date, Time and Location Information
Duration (total time in view):
37.7177968 North, 103.5175234 West. Additional site description provided at: http://tinyurl.com/4flp7f5
10X binoculars for me and, I believe, for Jeff Gordon.
Between 40 and 125 feet.
Diffuse hazy sunshine. Bird moved around, being to the left of, the right of, and right in the sunlight.
Description of the Bird
We first saw the bird climbing up a tree, jerkily so, like a woodpecker.
Easily identified as a sapsucker by its small-medium size, bold vertical white wing bar (upper wing coverts) on bird at rest, and dusky gray/black/brown barring all over.
The bird appeared to have no red on the head. Thus it retained much of its juvenal plumage, which point is relevant to separation from Red-naped Sapsucker (see below). It was dusky and barred all over, with extensive barring on the back.
Behaviors: Woodpecker-like, it climbed up a tree. It flew from branch to branch among several trees.
Call: None heard.
Similar Species Discussion
Based on overall plumage and time of year, only the Red-naped Sapsucker is really a contender. These two can be quite tricky, of course! A key point in favor of Yellow-bellied Sapsucker is that the bird retained most of its juvenal plumage. By late February, I would expect a Red-naped Sapsucker to have a mainly adult plumage aspect, certainly not shown by this bird. The extensive pale barring on the back was also good for Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, as was an overall pale-brownish plumage aspect.
One other thing is that I think Yellow-bellied Sapsucker is the more likely species, by probability, in southeastern Colorado in the winter.
I have seen hundreds of Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers and Red-naped Sapsuckers within their typical ranges. I have also seen a few Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers previously in Colorado.
Notes made AFTER observation
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Date Documentation Submitted
3/29/2011 4:14:00 PM