Verification of Unusual Sight Record
For Utah

Rec. # 2011-09

Common name:

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

Scientific name: Sphyrapicus varius
Date: 02/13/11
Time: 9:55 am
Length of time observed: 3 minutes
Number: 1
Age: Immature
Sex: Male
Location: Cox Park
County: Washington
Latilong: 37 5'20.17"N 11333'50.86"W
Distance to bird: 60 feet
Optical equipment: Nikon D300S 630mm
Weather: Sunny
Light Conditions: Good
Description:        Size of bird:  Approx 9L
(Description:)       Basic Shape:  
(Description:)  Overall Pattern: A messy black and white barring on back
(Description:)            Bill Type:  
Field Marks and
Identifying Characteristics:
The bird was obviously a Woodpecker but which one. I first considered a Red-naped Sapsucker because range maps indicated that it was most likely, but after doing some research and with the help of birders more expert than myself concluded it was a Yellow-bellied.

White stripe running up side.
Messy black and whitish barring on back.
(see photos)
Song or call & method of delivery:  
Similar species and how
were they eliminated:
There are several factors that point namely that the molt on A Red-napped would be complete by this time of year whereas a Yellow-bellied doesn't complete its molt until spring. In addition the red thoart of the yellow- bellied is separated from the white by a black border which is missing on red-napped you can see the black border in the attached photo.
Previous experience with
this & similar species:
References consulted: Sibley's Guide to Birds, Birds of North America Online
Description from: Notes made later
Observer: Norm Jenson
Observer's address: 1564 Blueberry Hl
Observer's e-mail address:
Other observers who independently identified this bird:  
Date prepared: 02/16/11
Additional material: Photos