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Red-naped sapsucker        Images © Mark A. Chappell

Three similar sapsuckers (formerly just one species) are found across North America: the eastern yellow-bellied sapsucker, the far western red-breasted sapsucker, and this species, the red-naped sapsucker from the western mountain states (a fourth species, the western Williamson's sapsucker, has a quite different appearance).   These males and (somewhat less strongly colored) females were photographed near Twin Lakes, Colorado and in central Utah, and in the San Jacinto Mountains in southern California.   The bird feeding on berries (photographed in Madera Canyon, Arizona) is something of a puzzle: it resembles red-naped but lacks red on the nape, and may be a red-naped X yellow-bellied sapsucker hybrid.

  • Canon 1D4 or 7DII; 800 mm IS lens + 1.4X converter, fill-in flash (2012, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2019)