Verification of Unusual Sight Record
For Utah

Rec. # 2023-70

Common name:

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

Scientific name: Sphyrapicus varius
Date: October 29, 2023
Time: 2:40 pm
Length of time observed: 10 minutes
Number: 1
Age: Adult
Sex: Male
Location: Grafton
County: Washington
Latilong: 37.10'02.9"N 113.04'55.l"W
Elevation: 3,665'
Distance to bird: 30 feet
Optical equipment: Swarovski 10x43 Binoculars
Weather: Clear, sunny, temp 57F
Light Conditions: Bright sun, clear blue sky
Description:        Size of bird: 8. inches bill to tail
(Description:)       Basic Shape: woodpecker shape
(Description:)  Overall Pattern: black and white mottling on back and flanks; light yellow wash on belly
(Description:)            Bill Type: solid. black, pointed thin cone
Field Marks and
Identifying Characteristics:
Black and white mottling over back, tail and flanks. light yellow wash on belly, red patches on forehead and throat. Black and white bridle-markings on head, with white line down upper shoulder to breast. White linear patch on wing from shoulder to mid-wing.
Song or call & method of delivery: None
Behavior: Moving quickly, around main trunk and branches of small tree, pecking at bark as though searching for bugs.
Habitat: Small tree in open field, Tree about 20 feet from wire fence surrounding field. Located on east side of north-south dirt road about 40 feet south of entrance gate to historic buildings
Similar species and how
were they eliminated:
Ruled out woodpeckers common to SW Utah: Ladder-back WP; Downy WP, Hairy WP and Red-breasted sapsucker because none of these had the two distinctive red patches and black and white bridle pattern on head and light yellow wash on belly like this bird.

NOTE: The weather the night previous to sighting was extremely windy with gusts 20-40mph all over Washington County. This bird probably blew into area during storm.
Previous experience with
this & similar species:
Saw this species on a trip to southern Texas in 2011. I led weekly bird walks in ZNP for 10 years, observing frequently flickers and woodpeckers commonly in area.
References consulted: Sibley App on telephone at time of sighting. Later reference: Stokes Birds,Peterson Field Guide to Birds, Sibley Guide to Birds, Birds of North America, North America (American Museum of Natural History)
Description from: Notes taken at the time of the sighting
Observer: Lucy Ormond
Observer's address: 2216 West 70 South
Observer's e-mail address: **
Other observers who independently identified this bird: Debra Belle, Henry and Linda (friends accompanying me. They saw the bird before I did and pointed it out to me.)
Date prepared: October 30, 2023
Additional material:  
Additional comments: Over the years I have listed 22 flickers, sapsuckers, and woodpeckers that I have observed. I have yet to see Red-cockaded and Ivory-Billed....