Sunday, March 25, 2012

Hybrid Sapsucker photos. 25 March 2012

From Post Park, 5 miles S. of Marathon, Brewster Co.

???????? X Sphyrapicus ruber Red-breasted Sapsucker

Red-breasted Sapsuckers hybridize more often with Red-naped Sapsuckers S. nuchalis.

However, there has been some great thought and comment toward the possibility of this hybrid's parentage consisting of Red-breasted, but crossed with Yellow-bellied Sapsucker S. varius. This hybrid combination is less common in simple part because the the Yellow-bellied's eastern range compared to the former's far continental western range.

A beautiful bird, regardless. We had yet to see a Red-breasted ... hybrid, and certainly wonder where it fledged.

Experienced comment and thought continue to be welcome regarding parantage of this individual.


  1. I guess it is the right area for the two species to meet and...greet.
    Very interesting. Nice photo documentation.

    Is this a fairly common sight around Big Bend? I read they have Northern flicker hybrids around Ohio and Oregon.

  2. Laurence, Red-naped and Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers are definitely expected here in winter, but Red-breasted is a SERIOUSLY awesome bird for anywhere in the state! As for flickers, pure yellow-shafted is not something we ever really see out here, but red and reddish ones do tend to be the norm. What I do love about the region is that we have so many things to compare - Eastern v. Western Meadowlarks, Blue-gray vs. Black-capped Gnatcatchers, to name a few. It's always worth a second look at any slightly different bird out here!