Male Yellow-bellied Sapsucker.

Throwback Thursday travels back to Saskatchewan, Canada in the summer of 1995.

I had found the nest of a pair of Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers in the middle of a group of large trees. Because of the surrounding trees there was only a few brief periods each day when the sun illuminated the tree trunk and nest hole.

Both the male and female were busily feeding the young in the nest. This meant that the adults would land at the nest hole and check that the other bird wasn’t about to exit before they entered. There is a photo of a bird exiting while the other waits here.

Here, the male is making sure that the female isn’t in the nest before entering.

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker male.

Male Yellow-bellied Sapsucker.

Throwback Thursday travels back to Saskatchewan, Canada in the late 1990s.

This is a rather smart male Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (Sphyrapicus varius). I say smart because the bird has new, clean plumage for the spring. By the time he has found a mate and excavated a nest hole in a tree he will be rather scruffy.

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (male).