Red-naped Sapsucker at Lake Anza in Tilden

Lee Friedman

I believe this morning I had a Red-naped Sapsucker at Lake Anza, seen at 10:20AM and observed for about 5 minutes. It was located in the trees on the northwest side of the trail about halfway between the beach entrance and the bridge to go around the lake. I describe its characteristics below, and provide links to photos.

There was red on the crown, throat and nape, none on the breast. There was also a white line on both sides of the face going down diagonally from the end of the beak to the back edge of the red throat. There were additionally two black lines extending in a v-shape from the eye to the back of the head. The back was mostly black with two narrow rows of whitish-beige markings going down the center of the back. There was some black and white under the throat, but I did not observe a substantial black collar there—characteristic of a relatively young bird. The breast itself was a dingy beige. Photos show each of these characteristics. Because the black head and throat markings would be more pronounced in a fully adult Red-naped, I considered but rejected the possibility that this bird might be a hybrid Red-naped x Red-breasted. Its characteristics seem to fit very well with that of the young Red-naped, and I saw nothing else to suggest it was a hybrid.

Photos are here:

Head and throat markings:

Good birding,

Lee Friedman