The New Student's Reference Work/Sap-Sucker
Sap-Suck'er, a name loosely applied to several small black and white woodpeckers and to the white-bellied nuthatch. The only true sap-sucker is the yellow-bellied woodpecker, a permanent resident in some parts of the United States and a winter resident in other parts. These birds perforate the bark to the sapwood, and have done extensive damage to orchards and shade-trees in the west. But they also render service in that they are great insect-eaters; destroying countless numbers of ants, wasps, beetles, bugs and grasshoppers and eating more flies than any other woodpecker. The bird is about one fifth smaller than the robin; its upper part is black, white and yellowish; breast black and the rest of the under-part pale yellow; throat and crown a bright red. It is a boisterous member of the woodpecker family, its note gay and rollicking, its woodpecking tattoo a spirited performance. Both the male and the female work in making the nest, excavating a deep hole, where five or seven white eggs are well-concealed. Both birds share in hatching.