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Red-breasted Sapsucker (Sphyrapicus ruber), Goldwater Lake, Prescott, Yavapai County

This Red-breasted Sapsucker was discovered on 15 November 2008 by Michael Nicosia, Mark Riegner and others and photographed by Doug Iverson on 17 November 2008 by the boat ramp at Goldwater Lake. 

The status of Red-breasted Sapsucker in the state is unclear because many sapsuckers with extensive red on their heads are hybrids with Red-naped Sapsucker.  Careful documentation is necessary to eliminate these hybrids. 

On this bird note the extensive red on the head and breast, relatively short white facial stripe, lack of black on the breast between the red and the yellow and the double row of small golden spots on the back.  The back and face pattern suggest this bird could be of the nominate race (S. r. ruber). 

The classic reference on identification of hybrid sapsuckers is here


17 November 2008, photo by Doug Iverson

All photos copyrightę by the photographer


Submitted on 18 November 2008

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