Williamson's Sapsucker

Silhouette WoodpeckersWoodpeckers

Williamson's Sapsucker

Sphyrapicus thyroideus
  • ORDER: Piciformes
  • FAMILY: Picidae
Basic Description

The male Williamson's Sapsucker is a silken black woodpecker with a cherry-red throat, a rich yellow belly, and sharp white wing patches. Unlike most woodpecker species, the female looks totally different (and was originally thought to be a different species entirely). It looks almost like a diminutive flicker, with a mousy brown head, banded back, and small patches of black and yellow on the belly. This fairly common sapsucker of western mountains drills rings of holes in coniferous trees, then feeds on the tree’s sap.

More ID Info
image of range map for Williamson's SapsuckerRange map provided by Birds of North AmericaExplore Maps

Find This Bird

Look for Williamson’s Sapsuckers in mature mountain forests with large coniferous trees. Listen for the unusual, raptorlike call of the species and for its drumming, which is less erratic than Red-naped and Red-breasted Sapsuckers.

Other Names
  • Chupasavia Oscuro (Spanish)
  • Pic de Williamson (French)
  • Cool Facts