Sapsucker behavior question Golden Gate Park botanical gardens

Jim Chiropolos

Work took me to SF today and I visited the golden gate park botanical gardens where I enjoyed three different sapsuckers- all in different well trees maybe about 75 yards apart.

Sapsucker 1 - Mostly red-breasted with prominent white face stripe.
Sapsucker 2 - Intergrade red-naped red-breasted with black cheek and white face stripe.
Sapsucker 3 - Female red-naped.

These birds are so different its like they are banded! I always thought a sapsucker would use one tree well/location, and defend it, but ebird reports suggest they are traveling - maybe trap lining!

I will not visit again but can a local who visits the garden on a regular basis verify if they are trap-lining or only using one territory? Its rare to have three unique birds use the same area and I am fascinated about behavior. If an observer staked out one tree would they see all three over the course of the day in a single well tree? If trap lining is their schedule similar from day to day in which tree and time they appear at? This could be a cool easy research paper!

I wish I was a local and could answer  these questions by patch birding!

And a big thanks to Alan H for giving me a tour as he knew all the well tree locations ! Finally, both Alan and myself remarked how overall non- birdy the garden seemed to be compared to previous years.

Jim Chiropolos 
always asking questions from the east bay!