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Adult and Juv Yellow-Bellied Sapsucker?


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Today near the mountains of southern Nevada.  Red-naped are common at this spot, although yellow-bellied are sometimes seen this time of year.  Was reading from October to May red-naped always  have a red nape.  These 2 have no red, and also the black border around the chin.  Thanks!

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I don’t think Red-napeds would be that Buffy on the back so I’m leaning towards Yellow-bellied.

Yet, I’m very unfamiliar with them so this is a bump more than anything else! 😂

I live in a hybridization zone, so I guess I should be smarter about them...

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18 hours ago, Corey said:

October to May red-naped always  have a red nape

No. Females, particularly immature females, can appear to have no red on the nape during this time period. However, given that the chin of the bird is entirely red, we can probably rule out female Red-naped. Then, given the extensive black frame to the throat, we can rule out male Red-naped.

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No. Females, particularly immature females, can appear to have no red on the nape during this time period. However, given that the chin of the second bird is entirely red, we can probably rule out female Red-naped. Then, given the extensive black frame to the throat, we can rule out male Red-naped. Juvenile back pattern is a bit tricky on sapsuckers, though tends to follow that of adults.

juvenile back plumage pix:

Red-naped

Yellow-bellied

Given that the preformative molt in Red-naped begins earlier and completes much earlier than the corresponding molt in Yellow-bellied (see Oct photos of Red-naped here, and note lack of much juvenile plumage), this bird has, at least, some Yellow-bellied ancestry. Hybrids are of real concern in the interior West at this time of year.

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