Verification of Unusual Sight Record
For Utah

Rec. # 2015-01

Common name:

Red-breasted Sapsucker

Scientific name: Sphyrapicus ruber
Date: 01/02/2015
Time: 11:45 A.M.
Length of time observed: 25 minutes
Number: 1
Age: Unknown
Sex: Unknown
Location: Rockville, UT (Amber Inn Bed and Breakfast)
County: Washington
Latilong: 379′41″N 1132′15″W
Elevation: 3740 ft.
Distance to bird: 20 ft.
Optical equipment: Binoculars, 250 mm zoom camera lens
Weather: Chilly, clear
Light Conditions: Good
Description:        Size of bird: Typical sapsucker size (approx. 8.5 inches)
(Description:)       Basic Shape: Typical sapsucker shape
(Description:)  Overall Pattern: Mostly red head (extending into breast), back mostly black with limited white streaks, mostly gray breast with small area of yellow upper and white mid-section.
(Description:)            Bill Type: Thick, straight (Similar to other sapsuckers)
Field Marks and
Identifying Characteristics:
Head: mostly red (extending into breast), only extensive area of white on head between eye and bill.
Back: mostly black with limited white streaks.
Breast: mostly gray with slight yellow upper and white mid-section. Significant red extending onto upper breast from head.
(see photos)
Song or call & method of delivery: Unknown
Behavior: Very active movements across tree trunk while drumming, flew back and forth between two large tree several times. Observed returning to same spot on lower tree trunk multiple times. Allowed us to get fairly close while photographing.
Habitat: Large pine trees in yard.
Similar species and how
were they eliminated:
Red-naped sapsucker: eliminated due to extensive red on subject's head extending into breast, and very small area of white between eye and bill (not extending far down like red-naped). Back also noticeably darker than typical red-naped.
Yellow-bellied sapsucker: elminated for same reasons as red-naped.
Previous experience with
this & similar species:
First time observing red-breasted sapsucker. I have observed red-naped sapsuckers on numerous occasions and this bird caught our attention due to its extensively red-colored head.
References consulted: Sibley Field Guide to Birds (Western North America)
Description from: From photo(s) taken at the time of the sighting
Observer: Mike Schijf
Observer's address: 354 Vermillion Ave. St. George, UT 84790
Observer's e-mail address: **
Other observers who independently identified this bird: Martin Schijf
Date prepared: 01/04/2015
Additional material: Photos
Additional_Comments: Will email photos