A Sister Site of Northern Michigan Birding.
Michigan Birds Checklist:

Michigan Checklist Report Board NMB Forum Sightings Database

 Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

Status in Michigan
Fairly Common Transient summer resident

Early Spring Date

Late Fall Date
Note: Early and Late Dates are being researched.
Image Credits
Count totals in the NMB Databases for Yellow-bellied Sapsucker.

Use the links below to view the Yellow-bellied Sapsucker reports in the respective databases.
If there are zero sightings for a particular season, that database will return no results.

Active Database - Summer 2005
View Yellow-bellied Sapsucker sightings.
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker Archives Reports
Spring 2005
Fall 2004
Spring 2004
Winter 03-04
Fall 2003 36
Spring 2003 53
Winter 02-03 14
Fall 2002 33
Summer 2002 19
Spring 2002 93
Winter 01-02 4
Fall 2001 21
Summer 2001 11
Spring 2001 77
Winter 00-01 3
Fall 2000 12
Summer 2000 7
Spring 2000 53
Winter 00-99 4
Fall 1999 4
Spring/Summer 1999 17

NMB Database
Seasonal Percentage Graph
For: Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

Search "The Birds of Michigan" text.

Home - Foreword - Preface - Introduction - Hypothetical List - Literature Cited

Historical Text
The Birds of Michigan - by: Norman A. Wood
Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan, No. 75

Sphyrapicus varius varius (Linnaeus)
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

Summer resident, common except in the southern counties, rare in the southernmost 3 tiers of counties. Reported in winter from Washtenaw and Monroe counties.

First listed for Michigan by Sager (1839: 415).

SPRING.-Numbers of Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers are noted in the Lower Peninsula by April 10, and they reach the Upper Peninsula by the last week of April.

Lower Peninsula.-L. W. Campbell (1940: 204) gave April 10 as the average date for the beginning of the main flight in the Toledo-Erie marsh area. In Wayne County Swales found a considerable increase in numbers after the first week in April (25 recorded on April 12, 2023). In the vicinity of Ann Arbor earliest arrivals are seldom recorded before the"first of April, and in Calhoun County Walkinshaw has recorded them only twice (April 2 and April 6) before April 10. Gibbs (1885: 134) gave March 29 to April 12 as the average dates of arrival in Kalamazoo County; F. W. Rapp (1931: 16), however, gives April 15 (1904) as the earliest date of arrival at Vicksburg in that county. D. W. Douglass recorded main flight at Sand Point, Huron County, in the second and third weeks of April (1931 to 1933).

Upper Peninsula.-Christofferson has usually, noted the Yellow-bellied Sapsucker at Blaney, Schoolcraft County, in the third, occasionally in the second, week of April (as early as April 8 in 1931 and 1932). W. C. Beck-man took 3 specimens (U.M.M.Z.) near Marquette on April 15, 1938, and James H. Wood took 1 (U.M.M.Z.) at Ironwood, Gogebic County, on April 12, 1932. At Copper Harbor, Keweenaw County, N. A. Wood (1933: 720) found the species rare in 1931.

SUMMER.-Eggs have been found by May 10, young by June 25. Lower Peninsula.-The species is now only rarely found nesting in the southern 3 tiers of counties, but records indicate that it was formerly more abundant there. J. Claire Wood (1905&: 57-58) found 2 nests in Wayne County, 1 with 3 eggs (May 10,2023), 1 with 4 eggs (May 19,2023). Swales discovered 2 nests near Clarkston, Oakland County, 1 on May 9, 1901, 1 (with 6 eggs) on May 30, 1902. N. A. Wood found 2 nests, each with 2 eggs (1 nest in U.M.M.Z.), on May 13, 1896, a few miles west of Ann Arbor. In Hartland Township, Livingston County, R. E. Olsen found a nest on June 14, 1931, and A. D. Tinker collected a fledgling (U.M.M.Z.) on July 4, 1934. N. A. Wood, Smith, and Gates (1916: 11) recorded the species as common in the Douglas Lake region, Cheboygan County, and noted broods of young there in 1915 after July 1. In the same area Blanchard and Nelson (MS of 1937) found nestlings on June 25 and July 6 and 8.

Upper Peninsula.-In Chippewa County during the summer of 1938 Christofferson recorded a nest (at Munuscong Bay) from which the young left before July 20, and T. D. Hinshaw and R. A. MacMullan collected several adults and young of the year (U.M.M.Z.) on Drummond Island. In 1909 Gaige (1914: 81) noted 2 nests in Dickinson County (July 2, nest with 6 young ready to leave; July 12, nest with 4 newly hatched young) and collected a number of fledglings (U.M.M.Z.). Walkinshaw found 2 nests with young near Bessemer, Gogebic County, June 29, 1933. The Yellow-bellied Sapsucker has been observed during the nesting period by Van Tyne in the Huron Mountains, Marquette County (June 21 to 27,1936), and by N. A. Wood (1918: 8; 1933: 720) in Alger County (May 24 to July 27,2023) and in Keweenaw County (April 22 to June 12, 2023).

FALL.-Departure from the Upper Peninsula is reported during the last 2 weeks of September and from southern counties by the end of the first week of October.

Upper Peninsula.-Specimens (U.M.M.Z.) have been taken on Isle Royale as late as September 13 (1905, by Max M. Peet) and September 27 (1929, by N. A. Wood). S. S. Gregory, Jr., collected a specimen in the Huron Mountains, Marquette County, on October 18, 1930. Bryens has usually noted departure in fall from McMillan, Luce County, in the third week of September, but has 2 records for October 3: 1927 and 1929.

Lower Peninsula.-In 1910 N. A. Wood (1911: 96) found considerable numbers of the species on Charity Island, Huron County, from September 21 to 29, after which he saw only a few (1 as late as October 9). There are many specimens in the Museum of Zoology taken in the southern counties in late September, and several taken in October (October 10, 1882, in Kalama- zoo County; October 9, 1932, in Jackson County; October 9, 1941, in Washtenaw County). L. W. Campbell (1940: 240) gave October 9 as the average date of departure of the majority of the Sapsuckers from the Toledo-Erie marsh area.

WINTER.-F. Novy saw a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker near Ann Arbor on January 27, 1914, and M. T. Sturgeon observed 1 in Ypsilanti, Washtenaw County, in the middle of February, 1941. Harold Mayfield saw 2 in Erie Township, Monroe County, on December 1 (1940), 1 on January 5 and 1 on January 10 (1941); L. W. Campbell saw 1 there on January 11 and 1 on February 9 (1941).

Mueseum of Zoology, University of Michigan, No. 75
The Birds of Michigan
By: Norman A. Wood
University of Michigan Press
August 28, 2023

Digitized by: Keith F. Saylor
[email protected]

| Checklist Home | View | List All | Log Off |

Be sure to visit these websites for more sightings.

Saginaw Bay Birding
SMRR-Southeastern Michigan Raptor Research
Copyright 1998 Gossamer Threads Inc. Database Powered by Gossamer Threads Inc.