Verification of Unusual Sight Record
For Utah

Rec. # 2014-039

Common name:

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

Scientific name: Sphyrapicus varius
Date: 02-06-2014
Time: 16:45
Length of time observed: 5-10 min
Number: 1
Age: juvenile
Location: pecan grove along 920 West, Hurricane
County: Washington
Latilong: 19
Elevation: ~ 900 m
Distance to bird: 25-50 m
Optical equipment: 8 x 42 binoculars
Weather: cloudy
Light Conditions: overcast
Description:        Size of bird:  
(Description:)       Basic Shape:  
(Description:)  Overall Pattern:  
(Description:)            Bill Type:  
Field Marks and
Identifying Characteristics:
First-winter Yellow-bellied Sapsucker observed while stopping by the pecan orchard to try and photograph the lingering Red-shouldered Hawk and Lewis s Woodpecker. The sapsucker worked on pecans at the very top of large tree near the north end of the grove. It was obviously a first-winter Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, still retaining much juvenile plumage. It was strikingly pale overall particularly compared to first-winter Red-naped Sapsuckers.

Sapsucker with black and white mottled uppersides and undersides, and large white scapular patch. Overall very pale. Head was particularly pale with brownish juvenile feathers on throat, forehead, and crown. Undersides mottled black and white, retaining brownish juvenile feathers on throat and upper breast. Back dark with white speckling throughout, diffused across entire back.
(see photos)
Song or call & method of delivery:  
Behavior: feeding on pecans in orchard
Habitat: orchard, surrounded by agriculture fields and housing areas
Similar species and how
were they eliminated:
primarily distinguished from other sapsuckers by retainment of juvenile plumage into February of second year. Also by overall pale plumage, lack of red feathers, etc.
Previous experience with
this & similar species:
References consulted:  
Description from: Notes made later
Observer: Rick Fridell
Observer's address: Hurricane, UT
Observer's e-mail address: **
Other observers who independently identified this bird:  
Date prepared: 12-18-2014
Additional material: Photos
Additional_Comments: description above copied from field notes