Red-breasted Sapsucker, Salt Spring Island, British Columbia, Canada by Barbara Levy

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Last Spring I had been looking forward to seeing our sapsuckers, who nest in an old maple grove in the south end of Salt Spring Island in Burgoyne Bay Provincial Park. However, due to the pandemic, I wasn’t able to visit this park in the Spring so, it was wonderful to have been visited by this friendly sapsucker this past January.

We'd had so many cold, rainy days here on the island and so, my brother, Michael and I decided to visit one of our favourite apple orchards where birdsong fills the air year round and really helps to lift your spirits. I was standing in front of the old apple tree where I’ve had fun photographing hummingbirds, starlings, robins, chickadees and warblers when I heard an unfamiliar call higher up in one of the poplars. Suddenly, the sapsucker you see in my photo swooped down onto the apple tree right in front of me. I photographed him as he climbed around near the top of the tree and then, he swooped down again to land right behind me very low down on the trunk of a tree which was decorated with his evenly spaced “wells” (filled with sap). He then let me capture this striking portrait shot of him in perfect light!

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