Redbellied Woodpecker

• male's red cap extends to forehead

Plumage Scxcs dif,L.r fA

Family p,cmAE

Species sphyrapicus varius

stripedface pattern black upper breast patch

Fkmai.k

distribution

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker l apping into a tree produces more than just burrowing insects, and this species of woodpecker makes holes in the bark in order to feed on the sugary sap. The bird drills gridlike rows of holes into any suitable tree and renews them each year. Broadleaved trees such as maples, fruit trees, birches, and poplars arc used, but other tree species are also tested, including conifers. A scries of small holes is chiseled into the tree, and after a short while the bird returns to drink the oozing sap. The sapsucker also eats many of the insects attracted by the sap. Other animals also take the opportunity to drink the sap, including squirrels, warblers, and hummingbirds. This bird is mainly silent but has a mewing call note, and advertises possession of its territory in spring by a rapid drumming on a resonant, dead branch. Possibly because it must rely on sap rising in spring, this is a migrant species.

• NEST An unlined hole, which

Fkmai.k distribution is excavated by the bird, in a tree. • DlSTRIBl JTION Breeds in Canada and N. and E. USA. Winters in S. USA south to C. Panama, and the Caribbean.

stripedface pattern black upper breast patch

black "bridle" on f/iee white shoulder

Family p,CIDAE

Species /)fndn>copos major

Great Spotted Woodpecker

1 he commonest anil most widespread of the pied woodpeckers of Eurasia and Africa, this species is identified by a white shoulder patch and by its separated cheek and neck patches. It is a successful species, found in most areas with trees. It forages on the surfaces of tree trunks and branches, mov ing in typical woodpecker fashion with head up. tail tip pressed against the bark as a support, and with the feet spread. The strong bill is used to pry up bark, and holes are probed using the sticky tongue. The bird also hacks deeply into rotten wood for insect grubs. It has a loud "chik" call and drums on branches in spring. • NEST An unlined hole excavated in a tree.

• DISTRIBUTION from Europe cast to Japan and south to N. Africa, N.E. India, and China.

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