WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHY – LOPATCONG, NJ
This photograph is of a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker shot by Donna A. Fiore in the rural town of Lopatcong, NJ. The camera gear used in this photo was a Nikon D200 camera body with a Nikkor 200mm lens.
The yellow-bellied sapsucker (Sphyrapicus varius) is a medium-sized woodpecker found in North America, Central America and the Caribbean.
The yellow-bellied sapsucker is a mid-sized woodpecker, measuring 18–22 cm (7.1–8.7 in) in length, 34–40 cm (13–16 in) in wingspan and weighing from 40–63 g (1.4–2.2 oz). Adults are black on the back and wings with white bars; they have a black head with white lines down the side and a red forehead and crown, a yellow breast and upper belly, a white lower belly and rump and a black tail with a white central bar. Adult males have a red throat; females have a white throat.
The breeding habitat of the yellow-bellied sapsucker is forested areas across Canada, eastern Alaska and the northeastern United States. They prefer young, mainly deciduous forests. There is also a small population found in high elevations of the Appalachian Mountains in Virginia, Tennessee, and North Carolina.
Yellow-bellied sapsuckers nest in a large cavity excavated in a deciduous tree, often choosing one weakened by disease; the same site may be used for several years. Both the male and the female work in making the nest, where five or seven white eggs are well concealed. Both birds share in hatching.
They will mate with the same partner from year to year, as long as both birds survive. They sometimes hybridize with red-naped sapsuckers or red-breasted sapsuckers where their breeding ranges overlap.