[Tweeters] Red-breasted Sapsucker behavior question

Linda Phillips linda_phillips1252 at msn.com
Wed Dec 30 17:16:34 PST 2015

In my neighborhood there are two maple trees about 20 feet
apart, that I’ve come to know of as reliable places to see Red-breasted
Sapsuckers feeding at this time of year. (and occasionally a hummingbird too) The
base of each of these trees is literally dripping with sap that is oozing from
the sapsucker’s wells. One of the trees is two trunked. One of those trunks is
a dead stump 10-12 feet tall. Tonight as I approached I could hear the RBSA
calling repeatedly. Looking for the source of the calls I saw a bird on the top
of the broken stump. I assumed this to be the sapsucker but soon realized that
it was a robin and the RBSA’s incessant calls were continuing from a nearby
tree. After a few more calls from the sapsucker the robin moved on and the
sapsucker immediately quieted down and flew to his wells.

It looked like he was driving the robin away; not wanting it
perched above him as he fed. Does anyone know if this is typical behavior for
RBSA? Or do you have any other explanation? Or do you think it was a coincidence?

Linda Phillips

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