Sunday, June 12, 2016

Makin' More Sapsuckers!!

One of the first birds that we spotted here at Leadville National Fish Hatchery was a beautiful Red-naped Sapsucker.
Red-naped Sapsucker
If you look closely at the picture above you can see the little red patch on the nape of the neck that gives this species their name.

After seeing one bird alone for a few days, we came across a pair together in a tree. The male has more red and black on the head, and is generally a little darker.
Red-naped Sapsucker Pair
The female looks similar to the male, but with less red and black on the head. 
After dancing around on the branch for a few moments, we got to observe the actual mating of this pair. 
Red-naped Sapsucker mating

Like other woodpeckers these guys are cavity nesters. We've seen plenty of cavities around but don't know where these two are holed up. Hopefully we'll see some youngsters around shortly.



  1. I'm always in awe of the "intimate" things we sometimes see in nature. Whether it be birds mating or a deer squatting to urinate... or once I saw a mink pounce on a chipmunk (end of chipmunk)... and I can't believe I had this opportunity. Hope you see those baby sapsuckers in a few weeks!

  2. More sapsuckers, bring them on! Those are outstanding photos. And the WPs are beautiful.

  3. What a great photo opp. Looking forward to some baby pictures.

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