|A Yellow-bellied Sapsucker on our deck.|
|...and what a sweet yellow belly you have!|
|Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers like sap, but there is no sap flowing around our house, so suet is the next best thing.|
Our sapsucker has visited all of our suet feeders but has ignored the sunflower seed and peanut feeders.
|This suet feeder is right outside our living room window, making it easy to get a good look at him.|
|A Yellow-bellied Sapsucker clings to a mulberry tree in our backyard while snowflakes fall gently all around.|
|Another view of the sapsucker through our living room window. The mulberry tree he is on is further away than the suet feeder, but still close enough to see him fairly well.|
|Our Yellow-bellied Sapsucker is not trying to drill any sapwells on the tree. He doesn't drill if sap is not flowing.|
Sapsuckers start drilling sapwells when the sap starts flowing in early spring. They don't drill if there is no sap to be had. On Cornell's "All About Birds" website (click here), I read hummingbirds love hanging around sap wells and drink the sap readily. In some parts of Canada, Ruby-throated Hummingbirds time their spring migration so they arrive with the sapsuckers. Bats and porcupines visit sapsucker sapwells too, so these little birds help feed a lot of other animals! Here is another cool fact: sapsuckers will roll ants and other small insects in sap to create a "sugar-coated bolus" to feed to their young (click here for the source on the Penn State Extension site).
|I hope our new Yellow-bellied Sapsucker sticks around all winter. It's been fun watching him.|
We have had a very warm winter so far. Tonight, however, the temps are dropping to the single digits and wind chills will be fierce. I hope the cold does not drive this little cutie south. I'll keep you posted!