Verification of Unusual Sight Record
For Utah

Rec. # 2010-34

Common name:

Red-breasted Sapsucker

Scientific name: Sphyrapicus ruber daggetti
Date: 09-30-10
Time: 5:45 pm
Length of time observed: 5 minutes
Number: 1
Age: adult
Sex: ?
Location: orchard, Lytle Ranch, Beaver Dam Wash
County: Washington
Latilong: 19
Elevation: ~ 850
Distance to bird: 5 m
Optical equipment: 10 x 42 binoculars
Weather: clear, calm, and hot
Light Conditions: bright sunlight, in shade of orchard
Description:        Size of bird:  
(Description:)       Basic Shape: woodpecker shape
(Description:)  Overall Pattern: black and white and red
(Description:)            Bill Type: long, stout, and pointed
Field Marks and
Identifying Characteristics:
Medium-sized woodpecker with bright red head, nape, chin, throat, and breast. Red on breast extending to yellow belly. Sides pale yellow with black speckling. Long, sharp, black bill. Face red with black in front of eye and white stripe angled back from above bill to to below eye. Large black eye. Back black with two yellowish series of parallel spots down center. Wings black, with a prominent white scapular patch and a few white spots in primaries and secondaries. Tail mostly black with little white limited to central retrices. White undertail coverts. Large gray feet.
(see photos)
Song or call & method of delivery: none heard
Behavior: Hanging out in orchard eating persimmons with 10 or so additional sapsuckers. Much more tame and approachable than nearby Red-naped Sapsuckers and hybrid sapsuckers
Habitat: mixed fruit tree orchard adjacent to desert riparian system
Similar species and how
were they eliminated:
Red-naped and Yellow-breasted Sapsuckers with complex black and white face pattern with limited red, more prominent white spotting on back, and broad black bid on upper chest.

Hybrid sapsuckers typically show more intermediate face pattern with more black and white on head and some black on chest separating red head and yellow belly.
Previous experience with
this & similar species:
References consulted:  
Description from: Notes taken at time of sighting
Observer: Rick Fridell
Observer's address: Hurricane, UT
Observer's e-mail address:
Other observers who independently identified this bird:  
Date prepared: 10-01-10
Additional material: Photos