Saturday, July 23, 2016

Coastal BC Birds: Red-breasted Sapsucker

Red-breasted Sapsucker

We went out camping with friends at Nanton Lake here in Powell River. It is a great campground maintain by Forestry and the local Western Forest Products Logging Company. Campsites are free (always a plus) and usually available either along the lake shore or nestled in the forest trees. All have picnic tables, room for an RV or tent, and plenty of nature.

Red-breasted Sapsucker on a forest snag.
Right next to our campsite was a family of Red-breasted Sapsuckers, mom, dad and two grown kids. They stayed busy harvesting sap from a nearby older Alder tree.  They had riddled the bark with lines of holes that they could visit and revisit to lick up the sap. And they aren't the only birds to take advantage of their tree taps. Hummingbirds also rely on them for extra food.

Double tapping.

They didn't mind our presence at all. They just kept on tapping and drinking to their hearts content. In addition to sap, they feed on insects either by tapping or foraging. Sapsuckers nest in tree or branch cavities or snags with no extra nesting material. From four to seven eggs are laid, but this family seems to have had only two survive to maturity. -- Margy

Reference: The Cornell Lab of Ornithology www.allaboutbirds.org (online)

12 comments:

  1. My Mom has a family of them who live in the trees right behind her condo. She puts out soot year round for the birds and so they come to visit her quite often. Love them!

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    1. I tried making homemade suet last winter but all I attracted was bugs. Maybe I'll buy some this year to add to my seed feeder. - Margy

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  2. Lovely photos and the bird is beautiful! Thank you so much for sharing.

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  3. Nice catch, I've never managed to get a good shot of these beauties!

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    1. They were right in the Nanton Lake campsite and didn't mind us being so close. - Margy

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  4. Aren't they amazing?! And free camping!

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    1. We have lots of free campsites in the forestry area. The company helps keep them maintained as a part of their logging lease. - Margy

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  5. Wow - great photos - what a treat.

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  6. Hello, I love the Sapsuckers. They are cool looking birds, awesome shots. Sorry, I am late visiting and commenting. I am still catching up after being away. Thank you so much for linking up and sharing your post. Have a happy day and week ahead!

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    1. Thanks for stopping by. I only get to use the Internet once a week so I'm always trying to catch up too. - Margy

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  7. I love seeing your birds, completely different to ones we gave here xxx

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    1. I like getting to see a bit of England through your blog as well. My great grandfather immigrated from England so it's a bit of my history as well. - Margy

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