Red-breasted sapsucker Facts

Red-breasted sapsucker Facts
Red-breasted sapsucker is type of near-passerine bird that belongs to the family of woodpeckers. There are two subspecies of red-breasted sapsuckers that can be found in North America. Red-breasted sapsucker inhabits moist coniferous forests, mixed and deciduous forests, coastal areas, mountains, orchards and parks. These birds were on a target of farmers in the past, because they produce significant damage in the orchards. Red-breasted sapsuckers are protected by law today, but they are facing uncertain future due to accelerated deforestation (habitat loss). Global population of red-breasted sapsuckers is still large and stable.
Interesting Red-breasted sapsucker Facts:
Red-breasted sapsucker can reach 7.9 to 8.7 inches in length and 1.4 to 2.4 ounces of weight.
Red-breasted sapsucker has red head, throat and breast, white "mustaches" on the face, black back, light yellow belly, white patch on the wings and white rump. Northern populations have two rows of white (or yellowish) spots on the back. Dorsal side of the body of southern populations is covered with numerous white markings.
Red-breasted sapsucker has black bill and medium-sized body with grey legs. Its tongue is covered with stiff hairs which facilitate collecting of sap from the surface of trees.
Red-breasted sapsucker is an omnivore (it eats both plants and meat). Its diet is based on plant sap, fruit, seed, berries, insects (such as ants, beetles, weevils, aphids, flies and mites) and spiders.
Red-breasted sapsucker drills holes (arranged in neat horizontal rows) on the trunk and branches of various plants (willow, birch, oak, mountain ash and commercially important plants such as pear, apple, peach, apricot and walnut). It licks sap which drips from the holes and eats insects which are attracted by sap.
Several species of hummingbirds and warblers follow red-breasted sapsuckers and feed on the sap and insects found near the drilled holes.
Northern populations of red-breasted sapsuckers migrate toward the south (to the wintering grounds) at the beginning of the autumn.
Red-breasted sapsuckers communicate via mewing, high-pitched and squealing calls and through drumming (they drum various surfaces using their bills).
Mating season of red-breasted sapsuckers takes place from April to May.
Female excavates cavity in dead tree or branch where she lays 4 to 7 white eggs.
Both parents participate in the incubation of eggs during a period of 14 days.
Chicks are naked and helpless at birth. Both parents collect food for their chicks. Young red-breasted sapsuckers are ready to leave the nest at the age of 25 to 29 days.
Red-breasted sapsuckers are ready for the independent life when they learn to drill holes and feed on the sap that leaks from the injured trees.
Red-breasted sapsuckers can interbreed with red-naped sapsuckers and yellow-bellied sapsuckers. Produced hybrids have morphological features of both species.
Red-breasted sapsucker can survive less than 5 years in the wild.

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