Williamson's Sapsucker (Sphyrapicus thyroideus)

Williamson's Sapsucker
Williamson's Sapsucker, male - San Jacinto Mountains
© Tom Benson
Williamson's Sapsucker
Williamson's Sapsucker, female - CSU San Bernardino
© Tom Benson

The Williamson's Sapsucker is a casual visitor to campus: a female was seen 13-25 Feb 2016 in the large pine tree outside Chaparral Hall. It is an uncommon year-round resident in the mountains of southern California.

The male Williamson's Sapsucker can be identified by its mostly black plumage, with yellow belly, red throat, and white stripes on the face and wing. Females have a brown head, extensively black-and-white barred underparts and upperparts, and a yellow belly patch. Williamson's Sapsuckers are the only species of North American woodpecker that shows strong sexual dimorphism; in fact, early ornithologists initially classified the two sexes as different species.


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