Odd Sapsucker Plumage

Larry & Penny Alden

I’ve had a female yellow bellied sapsucker on my property the last few days that has no red whatsoever on its head. Instead, the area that’s normally red is solid black. It’s jet black, too, not mousy brown juvenile color. In all other aspects, it’s a normal-looking adult female sapsucker.

I don’t recall ever noticing another sapsucker with this plumage variant. Has anyone else?

Larry Alden
(Town of Guilderland on the New Scotland border)