Verification of Unusual Sight Record
For Utah

Rec. # 2016-34

Common name:

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

Scientific name: Sphyrapicus varius
Date: 9-23-2015
Time: 4:13 pm
Length of time observed: 20 seconds
Number: 1
Age: Unknown
Sex: Female
Location: Backyard of 136 Braewick Road, Salt Lake City, UT, 84103
County: Salt Lake
Latilong: 40.7877, -111.88763
Elevation: 4870 ft
Distance to bird: 20 feet
Optical equipment: None
Weather: Partly Cloudy
Light Conditions: Well-lit
Description:        Size of bird: About 8 inches
(Description:)       Basic Shape: Woodpecker
(Description:)  Overall Pattern: Black and buff with bright red cap
(Description:)            Bill Type: Pointed
Field Marks and
Identifying Characteristics:
Bright red cap
No red on nape or throat
Buff belly with light grey barring
White on wings in striping pattern
Black bib
Song or call & method of delivery: None heard
Behavior: Flew in, moving up tree branch foraging, flew away.
Habitat: Grass with bushes and trees. Landed in cherry tree.
Similar species and how
were they eliminated:
Downey Woodpecker: Male Downey was about 5 feet away on another branch, he was smaller and had the wrong coloration. Beak proportion was off
Hairy Woodpecker: Wrong color pattern
Northern Flicker: Wrong coloration and size. NOFL are common in my yard, they looked nothing like this
Red-naped Sapsucker: There was no red on the nape or the throat, bird had good feather condition and did not appear to be molting
Williamson's Sapsucker: No red on throat and bright red cap. No green tint
Previous experience with
this & similar species:
I have never seen a YBSA before but I am very familiar with DOWO and NOFL because there is a nesting pair of each in my yard. HAWO are all over my work.
References consulted: The Sibley Guide to Birds, 2nd Edition; Sibley Birds West: Field Guide to Birds of Western North America;; BirdsEye App; iBird Pro North America App
Description from: From memory
Observer: Kristina Haycock
Observer's address: 136 Braewick Road, Salt Lake City, UT 84103
Observer's e-mail address: **
Other observers who independently identified this bird: None
Date prepared: 9-24-2016
Additional material:  
Additional comments: I realize this is a very rare sighting, hence all the references I consulted. When I first saw the bird I had no idea what it could be. I came to this conclusion by process of elimination. Despite the description being from memory, I am POSITIVE the only red on this bird was the cap. It was what caught my attention in the first place.