Verification of Unusual Sight Record
For Utah

Rec. # 2013-82

Common name:

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

Scientific name: Sphyrapicus varius
Date: December 21, 2012 through March 06, 2013
Time: various
Length of time observed: various
Number: 1
Age: immature
Location: Lytle Ranch
County: Washington
Latilong: 19
Elevation: ~840m
Distance to bird: 5-40 m
Optical equipment: 8x42 binoculars
Weather: various
Light Conditions: various
Description:        Size of bird:  
(Description:)       Basic Shape:  
(Description:)  Overall Pattern:  
(Description:)            Bill Type:  
Field Marks and
Identifying Characteristics:
I observed an immature Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (retaining juvenile plumage) at Lytle Ranch on 12/21/12 in a cottonwood across from the orchard. The sapsucker remained in the area through at least 03/06/13 and gradually molted attaining adult plumage. However, even in March it retained brownish juvenile feathering on back, sides, head, and wing coverts. The sapsucker frequented at least three or four active sapwells on at least two cottonwoods and a walnut tree. Photographed on January 29 & March 6, 2013.

Sapsucker with black and white wings and large white wing patch, retaining a large amount of juvenile plumage when first observed in December and gradually molting towards adult plumage by early March. Head with black and white stripes retaining some brown juvenile feathers on crown and cheeks. Black back with buffy spots down center. Obtained some reddish feathers on throat by March, however, not apparent when first observed in December.
(see photos)
Song or call & method of delivery: whining
Behavior: working sapwells on cottonwoods and a walnut tree
Habitat: Desert riparian area and ornamental planting
Similar species and how
were they eliminated:
Previous experience with
this & similar species:
References consulted:  
Description from: Notes taken at the time of the sighting
Observer: Rick Fridell
Observer's address:  
Observer's e-mail address: **
Other observers who independently identified this bird: Ella Sorensen, many others.
Date prepared: 12-04-2013
Additional material: Photos
Additional_Comments: Submitted photos taken on 01/29/2013. Description copied from field notes.