Verification of Unusual Sight Record
For Utah

Rec. # 2006-57

Common name:

Red-breasted Sapsucker

Scientific name: Sphyrapicus ruber
Date: 10-13-06
Time: 9:30 AM
Length of time observed: 30 minutes
Number: 1
Location: Lytle Ranch
County: Washington
Distance to bird: Within 10 feet
Optical equipment: 10x42 binns and 20x60 zoom scope
Weather: Partly cloudy
Light Conditions: Good
Description:        Size of bird: Mid sized Woodpecker
(Description:)       Basic Shape: Woodpecker
(Description:)  Overall Pattern: Black,red and white
(Description:)            Bill Type: Woodpecker type
Field Marks and
Identifying Characteristics:
The head,throat and breast were bright red with a white moustachial that extended to the sides of the neck. There was some black around the eye.
The back of the bird was black with two narrow rows of white markings that when down onto the tail.
The wings were black with a white patch on the coverts and some white bars on the primaries.
The lower breast and belly were a yellowish white with smudgy black marks on the sides and flanks.
(see photos)
Song or call & method of delivery:  
Behavior: Hanging onto tree trunks and Eating out of sap wells.
Habitat: Orchard in the middle of desert scrub habitat.
Similar species and how
were they eliminated:
R N and Y B Sapsuckers hybidize frequently with R B Sapsuckers so the only real confusion problem to look for would be a hybrid. This bird showed no signs of black on the breast or the
back of the head. The narrow rows of white on the back is also a good sign for R B Sapsucker which this bird had.The amount of red it had probably made it a male Daggetti.
Previous experience with
this & similar species:
I have seen hundreds of Red-breasted Sapsuckers and a lot of hybrids.
References consulted: Sibley Guide and Pyle.
Description from: Notes made later
Observer: Larry Tripp
Observer's address: 131 N. Butch Cassidy Trl. Central,Utah 84722
Observer's e-mail address:
Other observers who independently identified this bird: Peyton Cook
Date prepared: 11-28-06
Additional material: Photos
Additional comments: