8-9" (20-23 cm). Medium-sized woodpecker; smaller than a flicker. Characterized by black-and-white stripes on face, a long white wing patch, barred back, and white rump. Have red nape, forehead, and throat (female's throat is only partly red). Have black chest crescent separating throat from pale yellow belly. Immatures dusky brown with light spots on back, lighter belly and breast, with black-and-white checkered wings and tail.
Similar Species- Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, female Williamson's Sapsucker resembles immature Red-naped
A soft, slurred, nasal whee-ur or mew. Also drums: several rapid thumps followed by several slow, rhythmic thumps. The display communication of the spring pair is not a drum but a broken series tap: prrrrrrrp, prrp, prp, prp.
Breeds in Rocky Mountain region from south-central British Columbia, southwestern Alberta, and western Montana, south (east of Cascades) to east- central California, southern Nevada, central Arizona, southern New Mexico, and extreme western Texas. Winters in southern California, Oregon (casually), southern Nevada, central Arizona, and central New Mexico, and south to northern Mexico.
Found primarily in coniferous/deciduous forests that include aspen and cottonwood. During migration and in winter, found in various forest and open woodland habitats, and in parks, orchards, and gardens. A study in north-central Idaho found no differences in numbers among clearcut, fragmented, and contiguous stands of coniferous forest.
Drinks sap and eats cambium, fruits, and berries. Also eats insects in wood.
Nests in cavity in live tree, frequently near water. Often returns to nest in same tree, but not same cavity, year after year. Drills holes in trees to obtain food.
|Status:||Protected nongame species|
Hutto, R.L. 1993. Effects of clearcutting and fragmentation on the birds of a western coniferous forest. Final report to Clearwater National Forest, Univ. Montana, Missoula. 13pp.