Hybrid Sapsucker in Lafayette

Jeff Acuff

Yesterday my wife found and today re-found for me a sapsucker that appears to be a red-breasted x red-naped sapsucker.  Location is adjacent to a mailbox at 1751 Reliez Valley Road where there is a small tree (peppermint?) worked over with grids of sapsucker holes.  The tree is conveniently marked with a long red ribbon currently. 

The sapsucker most closely resembled the "southern" red-breasted pictured in Sibley with the white mustache partly interrupted by red below and behind the eye and with the eye set in a small triangle of black (no white above the eye though).  However, the bird seen had a clear and distinct black chest plate that could be seen through the red feathering that continued from the head down over the chest.  The red faded out below the fairly crisp bottom edge of the black shield.

If anyone does go looking for this bird, please use courtesy and common sense as the location is at the beginning of a driveway at private property.

Good birding,
Jeff Acuff

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