Wildlife Gardeners - North American Wildlife Gardening

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-   -   can you identify this woodpecker? (http://www.wildlifegardeners.org/forum/birds-including-raptors-hummers/12746-can-you-identify-woodpecker.html)

turttle 02-19-2015 01:03 PM

can you identify this woodpecker?
2 Attachment(s)
Hi. This woodpecker showed up at my deck rail feeders today for the first time - it is 10 degrees out, and all sorts of unusual birds are showing up today, but he is the only one that is not in any of my books. He is larger than a downy woodpecker, but with the prominent red throat I can't find any matches. He absolutely pecks at the trees, so I assume I am right that he is a woodpecker, even if he didn't obviously look like one!

The second photo is out of focus but shows the red color more distinctly.

NEWisc 02-19-2015 01:39 PM

A male yellow-bellied sapsucker??

Birding Bunch 02-19-2015 02:55 PM

I think you're right NEWisc. This is one woodpecker we know has been on our property, but I've never seen. It left the characteristic Sapsucker holes on our "monkey tree". The children call it that because they climb on the tree like moneys.

katjh 02-19-2015 04:21 PM


Originally Posted by NEWisc (Post 150696)
A male yellow-bellied sapsucker??

Yup, I think it's a sapsucker.

kchd 02-19-2015 08:19 PM

A male Yellow-bellied sapsucker, for sure!

disuhan 02-19-2015 08:21 PM

Yep, definitely a yellow bellied sapsucker! They winter in the southeast and breed in the northeast and Canada.

kchd 02-19-2015 08:24 PM

If you zoom in on your first photo, you can see the characteristic zygodactyl feet (two toes point forward, two toes point back) that woodpeckers have for vertically climbing trees, and the very stiff tail feathers which they use for propping as they hang on the side of a tree.

turttle 02-20-2015 09:53 AM

Thanks, all! I saw him again this am and the sun hit the yellow belly very distinctly, and the ID hit me before I then went to see this thread. I have never had one at my feeders before, and the only one I ever saw before was high in a tree and I thought it as more flicker-sized (in fact, maybe it was a flicker, the photo was at extreme magnification and not very sharp).

I will have to look around and see if I have sapsucker holes in my trees. If they only winter here (the range maps say they are not year round residents here), should I see sap holes? When it is cold, the sap doesn't flow, though NC isn't usually all that cold in the winter, this week being a major exception.

He is beautiful, and I love seeing new birds show up. I had my first northern flicker yesterday, too. Nothing like record cold to make birds brave enough to come to a feeder.

havalotta 02-20-2015 11:16 AM


Originally Posted by EllenW (Post 150719)
Oh darn. I never got to look at your woodpecker post. I could have named it. I had a yellow bellied sapsucker for the first time ever here earlier in the winter.

Not to worry...I moved your post so they'd all know what it was. :tease

havalotta 02-20-2015 11:59 AM

All right.....Guess you yellerbelliedsapsuckas ALL nailed it right on the head!


Originally Posted by Birding Bunch (Post 150699)
This is one woodpecker I've never seen. It left the characteristic Sapsucker holes on our "monkey tree".
The children call it that because they climb on the tree like moneys.

Now regarding those children climbing on the tree like money.
That surely sounds like a whooooolota hooey. Oh I've heard about those magical money trees but I've never actually found any growing about anywhere. I HAVE however found a few at the church and school benefits but those were certainly man-made as I don't think they'd be growing like they were with the tinfoil wrapped coins a dangling from strings on their branches. I'd imagine if they'd be growing on their own and bearing money like they say....The fruits of their labor would be looking more like a bunch of nuts. Something you'd actually have to WORK at to receive it's monetary benefits.

I've also had the opportunity of seeing a few other species of the money trees at the functions.
They appear more like a bush than a tree though and are also more full in appearance... FULL of little money buds about to burst and unfurl!

Now if you ever run into the chance of purchasing either a money bush or a money tree.....I'd say go for the bush.
You just never know how big those little money buds are until they've set a while, matured and burst open. If, however in your search, you are unable to find either, you could always plant one of your own! It's real easy to do....Just dig a hole, and throw your money a-waaaay down deep into it and if you have the room, plant a variety, a penny, a nickle, a dime, a quarter, or a half dollar piece but don't waste your time or money planting any of the paper currency.

Paper currency has a quite a bit of the blue and red ink attached that could possibly cause a considerable amount of damage to your soil or loss. Then there's that darn embedded polyester security thread which prevents it from sprouting and probably never really decomposes completely anyway. Oh and one more thing...About that optically variable ink that changes from green to black. Now I know this from experience...
Take it from me......

Anything that changes from green to black after you've planted it has DIED and there's nooooooo waaaaaay you're going to get your "greenback"

Birding Bunch 02-20-2015 01:03 PM


Not sure what to say about all that. :)

wildwatcher 02-20-2015 05:50 PM

we just get further out there...
...sooner or later your liable to get your yellow bellied sapsuckerz messing with your money...and I heard, that is where they got their name originally.

There once was a barrel of $money$---hidden in the woods. And the owner of the keg didn't visit the barrel very often... and he forgot after some time, which tree he marked it near.:blankstare

So he decided to take his barrel of monkeys out to exercise, an low & behold they all searched diligently (as diligently as a barrel of monkeys might be) for the old timerz lost fortune.

Finally after many steps and 20 bananas later, he remembered-way-back-when...he had marked the tree by nailing a shiny gold nugget into the tree!

Since the old timer needed better help to find his lost fortune, he found a nuthatch chirping and searching each tree very closely. So he made a conversation with the nuthatch, that if the bird would help him search for the gold marker in the tree, he would see too it that the nuthatch would always have fresh grain in the wintertime birdfeeder. The nuthatch told the old timer, that if he found the lost fortune, he would return him, too it.:happydance

With that, the special nuthatch was renamed The Yellow Bellied Sapsucker, for he is always searching the tree trunks for the gold marker. And it is old tradition that birdfeeders everywhere always welcome the yellow bellied sapsucker, in hopes that the bird might bring a message about the whereaboust of lost fortune..if you take time to listen for it.:crazy1


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