Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Red-naped x Red-Breasted Sapsucker

I was able to see a hybrid of a Red-naped and a Red-breasted Sapsucker today, thanks to some good folks posting their recurring sightings on the IBLE Yahoo group. I also met Steve Bouffard and Gary at Julia Davis Park as they too were looking to see this life bird. The grove of pine trees near the southwest corner of Zoo Boise was were the sapsucker has been working over the pines for sap. We observed it flicking off chunks of bark and drilling holes. The trees were riddled with sap wells so it is an obvious great food source.

Some local birding experts have declared it a hybrid (thought I was hoping it would be a pure Red-breasted Sapsucker so I could add it to my life list). The hybrid features being discussed are the amount of black on the face (naped); the amount of red on its head, throat and breast (breasted), the black crescent border (naped). You can compare the pics below of "pure breeds" with the Red-breasted on top.

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