September 20, 2015 – Red-breasted Sapsucker (Sphyrapicus ruber)

Requested by: @mostdelightfulhat

Found along the Pacific Coast of North America, these woodpeckers are closely related to Yellow-bellied and Red-naped Sapsuckers. They eat sap, fruits, and invertebrates, drilling shallow holes in tree bark, then licking the sap from them. Nesting in cavities, usually in deciduous trees such as aspens, alders, or willows, they reuse the same tree, but not the same cavity, for several years. Both parents incubate the eggs and care for the chicks, teaching them how to drill into bark for sap. Some hummingbird species, especially the Rufous Hummingbird, also feed on sap from the holes these woodpeckers make, even nesting near them and following the woodpeckers around.

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