Ridgecrest Adult Male Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
- Adult Male Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
8:30am, Saturday, February 4, 2006
An adult male Yellow-bellied Sapsucker was observed 8:30am-8:45am
this morning at Desert Memorial Park (AKA Ridgecrest cemetery) in
Ridgecrest. Other bird species present that might be of interest
include white geese (up to 2000 Snow and Ross's, including 4 blue
phased) and Long-eared Owl.
DMP is reach by heading east on Hwy. 178 (AKA Ridgecrest Boulevard)
to San Bernardino Road (AKA County Line Road) at the Kern County and
San Bernardino County line. Turn right off Hwy. 178 onto San
Bernardino Road and proceed 0.7 miles to the cemetery entrance.
Proceed to the large parking lot inside the cemetery. Walk to the far
(north) end. Turn left (west)., then immediately left (south) again
onto the narrow crossroad found immediately west of the large parking
lot. In the third evergreen on the right (west) side of this road,
the Yellow-bellied Sapsucker was heard tapping, then seen working
freshly made "sapsucker" holes 15'-20' up the tree on the west side
of the tree.
On this individual, note the black line completely framing the red
throat, the white stripe leading from the back of one eye around the
hind crown to the back of the other eye, a white line on the nape
connecting the above-mentioned white stripe to white on the upper
back, and lack of a red nape. Note the messy, light barring on the
lower half of the back, then splitting into two columns on the upper
back. The latter mark, although suggestive of Red-naped Sapsucker,
has been reported to be seen in photographs of YBSAs taken deep in
the heart of their core range in the northeast, suggesting that the
plumage of the YBSA at DMP is well within the range of variability
for the species.
This YBSA appears to be the same individual present at DMP in part of
November and December. It was photographed and researched at that
time by Susan Steele.
Apologies to those of you who do not like long epistles. The above
reflects what I have learned through this sighting rather than a
confident prior knowledge. Perhaps others are in a similar position
now to where mine was in November when the first sighting of YBSA was
made at DMP. Thus, what I am hopeful are helpful points are given.
Happy & Productive Birding,