The sapsucker discovered by David Seibel near Lawrence, KS in 2001  
generated much discussion regarding its identity.  Initially  
identified in the field as a male Red-naped Sapsucker the  
identification could not be conclusively determined through  
photographs and the Red-naped identification was "thrown into serious  

I was able to find links to articles on this bird and other literature  
in my library which will make for interesting study.  The end result  
of this leads to published works by David Seibel and by Mark Robbins,  
David Seibel and Carla Cicero which showed the Lawrence bird, after  
collection and biochemical analysis, to be a hybrid, and a female!  At  
first Seibel et al considered Yellow-bellied x Red-naped hybrid but  
the ultimate title of their publication is "Probable Yellow-bellied  
Sapsucker x Red-breasted Sapsucker hybrid from eastern Kansas with  
comments on the field identification of adult sapsuckers."  This from  
North American Birds, 2005, 59:360-363.

The bird that looked like a male Red-naped in the field was shown to  
be a female in the lab and then shown to not have any "Red-naped" in  
it at all!

The North American Birds article is on-line at this site:

This link leads to a David Seibel comment on a JCCC site:

Additionally I found an article in Birding Magazine, Nov / Dec 2006,  
pages 42-51:

Mlodinow, S.G., J.H. Barry, and C.D Cox. 2006. Variation in Red-naped  
and Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers.  Birding 38:42-51.

Like others posting to this topic, I am by no means an authority of  
any kind on the identification of sapsuckers, but I enjoy searching  
through the literature.  Have fun!

Dave Williams
Leavenworth County, KS

The Audubon Society of Missouri's Wild Bird Discussion Forum
ASM Spring Meeting: April 27, 2012 in Joplin, MO
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