Re: Red-naped Sapsucker, hybrid?

Kevin Zimmer

My best guess is that it is a hybrid.  The dorsal pattern (back, scapulars & wings) look good for Red-naped, and there are certainly more Red-naped genes being expressed in the head/facial pattern as well.  But, there should be more of a black ocular band showing below the eye, and the white post-ocular stripe is heavily washed with red, starting from just behind the eye and extending all the way to the nape.  That excessive red pigment, at the expense of white and black strikes me as likely being the result of at least some Red-breasted contribution to the genotype.  Overall, the tilt of the phenotype is strong enough toward Red-naped, that I doubt that your bird is an F1 hybrid (Red-naped X Red-breasted), but more likely represents a more distant hybridization event, or backcross of a hybrid with a pure Red-naped.

Kevin Zimmer

On Feb 11, 2021, at 6:12 PM, Torrey G-T <tgagetomlinson@...> wrote:

I had this RNSA type fly into my yard on Cerro Romauldo Ave. today around 3:00. Hard to say, but I'm leaning towards it being a pure non-hybrid Sapsucker. Any input is welcome. Below is my eBird checklist with comments.


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