Red-breasted Sapsucker

The red-breasted sapsucker (Sphyrapicus ruber) is a medium-sized woodpecker in the Picidae family, found in the forests of the west coast of North America.

Red-breasted sapsuckers breed from southeast Alaska and British Columbia south through the Pacific Coast Ranges of western Washington and Oregon and northern California. The breeding habitat is usually forest that includes pine, hemlock, Douglas-fir, fir, and spruce, though they are known to use other woodland habitats.

Red-breasted sapsuckers prefer old-growth forest. They require living trees to provide the sap on which they feed. A sapsucker’s tongue is adapted with stiff hairs for collecting the sap. Red-breasted sapsuckers visit the same tree multiple times, drilling holes in neat horizontal rows.

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