Hybrid Sapsucker at Botanical Garden

Richard Bradus

While taking a late afternoon stroll through the SF Botanical Garden (10/20), one of the first birds I spotted was an odd sapsucker that I believe is a Red-naped x Red-breasted hybrid. It was really frustrating as it was working high in a tree (the one full of sapsucker holes; at the SE corner of the great lawn just inside the 9th Ave. entrance, west of the garden library building) and was mostly obscured by the dense foliage so I got only partial views. Mix of features: partially red crown and face but with a prominent white malar stripe crossed by a bit of red, no black chest medallion (as would be expected in Red-naped) but little, if any, red on the breast either, and lacking the typical white wing patches.

I managed to get a couple of photos (one markedly underexposed, the other passable) before the battery in my camera gave out, out the bird flew away while I fumbled with the replacement (aaarrrgggghhhh!). Full description and photos on eBird:

Comments or correction if I have mis-identified it are welcomed.

Hope everyone has a chance to enjoy our (finally) nice fall weather!

Richard Bradus
San Francisco