Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers are similar to other woodpeckers, they drill holes into trees for food but they are not searching insects like most woodpecker, their food source is the tree sap. They spend most of their time at their sapwells either drilling new holes or licking sap from existing wells.

Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers are mostly black and white but their belly is yellowish just like their name indicates. They have a long white stripe along their side and their back is black with patches of white. These colorations are shown in the two photos below.

Males and females are very similar in appearance. Both sexes have red foreheads but the males also have red throats. The difference is seen in the photos below.

Yellow-belled Sapsuckers perch upright on trees, leaning on their tails like other woodpeckers. This is easily seen in the photos below.

About This Bird

Family: Woodpeckers

Location: Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers live in North America. They spend their summers in the Northeastern half of the United States and Canada then migrate into the Southeastern portion of the United States and Central America for the winter.

Size: 18 to 22 cm (7 to 9 in) in length with a wingspan of up to 16 inches.

Lifespan: Up to 7 years

Diet: As the name indicates, sapsuckers rely on sap as a main food source. They drill their wells the inner part of the trunk to feed on sap moving up to the branches in the spring and shallower well after the tree leaves out to get sap that is carried down from the leaves. They will also eat insects (mostly ants) and spiders, collecting them from beneath a tree’s bark like other woodpeckers.

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