Banding a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (Sphyrapicus varius)

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (Sphyrapicus varius)

We banded only one bird today but he was a beauty!  Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers  are migrating through here now and I often see one on our old crabapple tree which is riddled with their neat network of drill holes.  This bird is an adult in full breeding plumage and is over three years old.  We can tell this by examining the secondary feathers, which retain no juvenile plumage at all.  Hummingbirds often follow the sapsuckers north, feeding from the sap dripping from the holes they leave.  This practice gives the male hummers  an advantage because they can reach the breeding grounds before the flowers bloom and claim the best territories.

Back view

Back view


9 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    jmgoyder said,

    Incredible bird!
    When we were children we used to insult each other by saying, ‘you’re a yellow bellied sapsucker!’ I’m not sure why!!!!!


  2. 3

    Madeline said,

    Kathy, can the public watch the bird banding at Birdcraft? If so, canyou give dates, times, etc. Thanks.


    • 4

      We have days when we do public demonstrations every year. I don’t know if they have any scheduled for this spring yet. Call CT Audubon Birdcraft Museum and Sanctuary (203)259-0416 and ask. We don’t schedule them as they fit them in around the school groups, etc.


  3. 6

    Madeline said,

    I WAS hoping that you would find this information on your project and post it. Oh, well….


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