Verification of Unusual Sight Record
For Utah

Rec. # 2016-38

Common name:

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

Scientific name: Sphyrapicus varius
Date: 10-12-2016
Time: 12:45pm
Length of time observed: 10 minutes
Number: 1
Age: adult
Sex: male
Location: Garr Ranch, Antelope Island
County: Davis
Elevation: 4250ft
Distance to bird: 3-5m
Optical equipment: Vortex 8.5 X 32 Binoculars, Canon SX50 hs Digital Camera
Weather: Sunny and clear, 65F
Light Conditions:  
Description:        Size of bird: medium sized woodpecker, 8.5in
(Description:)       Basic Shape: Typical Sapsucker
(Description:)  Overall Pattern: Mostly black and white, red throat and forehead
(Description:)            Bill Type: Typical sapsucker
Field Marks and
Identifying Characteristics:
First heard the tapping of a Sapsucker, upon locating noted it had no red on nape, then got great looks at the throat, solid red with a complete black border. Also noted extensive white barring on back. I had seen 3 other Red-naped previously the same day at the ranch of various ages/sexes, and another was interacting with the YBSA, giving direct comparisons.
(see photos)
Song or call & method of delivery: None heard, except tapping on wood,which is what alerted me to its presence.
Behavior: Flying from tree to tree visiting sapsucker wells, in Elm trees of picnic area
Habitat: Cultivated landscape of tall deciduous tree around a homestead, in an otherwise treeless landscape. Known migrant trap.
Similar species and how
were they eliminated:
Elimination: Red-naped Sapsucker:Males should have red on the nape, and extensive red bleeding into the border on the throat, less white on back. Females should have red and white in throat and some red on nape, less white on the back as well. Direct comparisons, all Red-naped had some red on nape.

Hybrid Red-naped X Yellow-bellied:Should have some red bleeding into border on throat, making an incomplete black border unlike this bird, often have red on nape.

Red-Breasted Sapsucker:Should have no black border on red throat, solid red on crown and nape
Previous experience with
this & similar species:
I've seen many YBSA now in fall migration in Utah, and many more RNSA in all seasons in Utah
References consulted: Memory-Ive seen enough of these I was certain of ID once seen. Helps it was an adult male
Description from: From photo(s) taken at the time of the sighting
Observer: Bryant Olsen
Observer's address: 688 East 700 South #105, SLC, UT 8410
Observer's e-mail address: **
Other observers who independently identified this bird: None that I know of
Date prepared: 10-12-16
Additional material: Photos
Additional comments: eBird checklist: