Red-breasted Sapsucker

The Red-breasted Sapsucker is a fascinating bird that can be found in North America. This medium-sized woodpecker has many unique features and behaviors that make it stand out from other birds.

Basic Description

The Red-breasted Sapsucker measures around 19 cm long with a wingspan of about 33 cm. The male and female have distinct differences, with the male having a red throat while the female has a white one. Both sexes have black-and-white striped heads and backs, but their bellies are either yellow or white depending on their age.

Where To Find This Bird

Red-breasted Sapsuckers are generally found in mature coniferous forests throughout western North America. They migrate to lower elevations during winter when food is scarce at higher altitudes.


These birds prefer dense forest habitats near water sources such as streams, rivers, or lakes. Their nests are often located in dead trees or snags where they excavate holes for breeding purposes. In addition to being suitable for nesting sites, these trees also produce sap which helps sustain their diet.


As their name suggests, Red-breasted Sapsuckers feed mainly on tree sap by drilling small holes into the bark using their sharp bills to create wells from which they drink sap along with insects attracted to it.. These birds also eat insects such as ants and beetles as well as fruits like berries..

Cool Facts

– The sapsucker’s tongue has tiny bristles on its tip which act like straws when drinking up sap.
– These woodpeckers drill horizontal rows of holes into tree trunks creating characteristic rectangular patterns.
– While feeding at these wells created in trunk-lines ,other bird species come too which benefit from this activity . Other creatures such as squirrels may take advantage of these convenient breaks made by sapsuckers .
– During breeding season males use drumming behavior to attract females by tapping or “drumming” against tree trunks to create a loud sound.
– These birds are monogamous and may mate for life.
– Red-breasted Sapsuckers have been observed engaging in anting behavior where they rub ants over their feathers to protect from parasites.

In conclusion, the Red-breasted Sapsucker is fascinating bird that has many interesting adaptations and behaviors suited to its forested habitat. Keep an eye out for these unique woodpeckers next time you’re exploring North America’s coniferous forests!