Red-breasted Sapsucker Benefits Rufous Hummingbird
- This video is a good example of the relationship between Red-breasted Sapsuckers and Rufous Hummingbirds.
- Sapsuckers typically drill holes in trees which causes the tree to release some of its sap.
- These woodpeckers have a brush-like tongue to lap up the sap. Other woodpeckers have a tongue with a sharp, horny tip for spearing insects.
- To learn more about woodpeckers go to Drummers in the Woods (Woodpeckers) by Bob Armstrong and Marge Hermans
- To learn more about Rufous Hummingbirds go to To Mexico and Back Again (Rufous Hummingbirds) by Bob Armstrong and Marge Hermans
- This sapsucker has gathered insects and sap to feed its youngsters.
- In Alaska Rufous Hummingbirds are known to nest near sapsucker trees and feed heavily on the sap -- which may be more nutritious than flower nectar.
- The hummingbirds will feed their youngsters the sap and the insects that might be attracted to the sap.
- The distribution of Red-breasted Sapsuckers and Rufous Hummingbirds in Alaska is nearly identical.