Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (Sphyrapicus varius)
- HABITAT - Yellow-bellied Sapsucker is primarily a forest and woodland species. It breeds across Canada east of the Rockies, south to South Dakota to Pennsylvania and New England and south through the Appalachians to northwest Georgia. Winters in the southeastern U.S., the West Indies, and Central America.
- DIET - About 50% of the sapsucker's diet is composed of sap and sapwood. The other 50% consists of wild berries and fruits, and the flying insects that are attracted to the sap oozing from the holes drilled in the trees. Yellow-bellied sapsuckers attack only living trees. In forested areas they have been observed feeding on a wide variety of deciduous and coniferous species. They seem to prefer birches, blue spruce, Scots pine, and Siberian elm.
- FACTS - Sapsuckers get their name from their habit of boring holes into the cambium layer or inner bark, letting the sap exude and run down the trunk. The birds wipe up or suck the oozing sap with their brush-like tongues. They return again and again to the same tree and also consume the insects attracted to the sap.