MDI Birds
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    Yellow-bellied Sapsucker / Sphyrapicus varius

    : Breeds. in young deciduous and mixed woodlands mid May-mid Jul with most nests excavated in birch or aspen. Hard to detect unless vocalizing or ‘drumming.'

    : and widespread but inconspicuous beginning mid Apr with to early Apr and again mid Sep-mid Oct with to early Nov. Fall birds seem partial to apple trees.

    : Nov 28, 1954 in Southwest Harbor, Feb 13, 1994 in Seal Harbor, Jan 22, 2021 in Bar Harbor, and two or more in Bar Harbor Jan 9-Jan 30, 2023.

    Miscellany: Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers, as their name suggests, consume significant amounts of sap from wells excavated by drilling neat horizontal rows of 3-15 holes in their feeding trees. These holes are tended to keep the sugary sap flowing and defended against sap theft from other birds, notably, Ruby-throated Hummingbird. Listen to their distinctive ‘drum' here.

    As our part of coastal Maine warms, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, along with fellow late fall migrants such as Winter Wren and Fox Sparrow, may become more frequently reported Dec-Feb.

    Last Updated: February 6th, 2023