When I was little boy I thought the name yellow-bellied sapsucker was the funniest thing I’d ever heard and though I did know it was some sort of bird, I took pleasure in calling a friend a yellow bellied sapsucker and laughing hysterically. I was a silly kid.
There are four species of sapsuckers (Sphyrapicus spp.) in North America and I read that where their territories overlap they hybridize making identification confusing. When identifying the yellow-bellied, red-naped and red-breasted sapsuckers a favorite field guide says to “beware of relatively frequent probable hybrids” between the three species. Now you know.
By the way, the vowel a in the name Sphyrapicus should be short not long, like the way I pronounced it. There are rules as to when a vowel is long or short in a Latinized scientific name, depending on which syllable it’s found. That said, over the years I guess my approach has been to plow ahead and say the name with some authority and I’m guessing some folks think, “Wow, I didn’t know that’s the way you say that.” My apologies. I will try to mend my ways.
The photo of the line of pecked holes on the trunk of the oak is mine. I don’t think I could do be that precise with an electric drill and ruler.
The photo of the male red-naped sapsucker is from Cornell Lab All About Birds: https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Red-naped_Sapsucker/id
Oh, and the field guide referred to above is: Finding Birds in Southeast Arizona from The Tucson Audubon Society. It’s in its eighth edition and it is to die for if you are an amateur (me) or expert birder.