The Yellow-bellied Sapsucker makes holes in trees to collect sap. Once it leaves the hole other birds, bats, and even hummingbirds like to get the leftover sap from the hole. Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers have been found drilling more than 1,000 species of trees. They like birches and maples the most. The Sapsucker has no issues using its bill to drum metal objects. On our house they like to use the gutters. The Sapsucker whacks its beak against metal to make a loud morse code type sound. This is a way to let other birds know that this is its territory. Also, it is a way to summon a mate.
This bird is larger than a Downy Woodpecker but slightly smaller than the Hairy Woodpecker. When I saw this in the tree, I thought it was a Hairy Woodpecker. Once I zoomed in I realized it was a different type of woodpecker. It was the first time I had seen one in my backyard.
These birds are mostly black and white. Both sexes have a red forehead. The male also has a red throat. It has white or yellowish feathers on the underside. It is 7.1 – 8.7 inches in length, weights 1.5 – 1.9 ounces, and has a wingspan of 13.4 – 15.8 inches.