This pair of juvenile Yellow Bellied Sap Suckers were flitting about in the Holly Tree across the street from my home yesterday, January 7, 2014. The pair of older juvenile woodpeckers also flew over to a nearby Pine Tree and were clinging to the trunk with their long sharp claws. I also had spotted one of the Sap Suckers clinging to the hefty trunk of an Oak nearby before seeing the pair fly over to the holly.
Yellow Bellied Sap Suckers peck into trees such as Pines and Sycamores and Oaks and drink the sugar-rich sap. They also will eat insects found in the bark of the trees on occasion. The juveniles have a rather brownish tinge to their backs on top of the black and white barred coloring. This brown disappears as they grow into adults. The adults have a small red patch with the adult males also having a red throat. I took these pictures early in the morning and it was 31 degrees F. out. So the birds and I were pretty cold! Please click the thumbnail image to see the larger picture. Enjoy!