Las Pilitas Nursery

California Native Plants are all we grow!

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3232 Las Pilitas Rd
Santa Margarita, CA 93453

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This website is dedicated to Bert Wilson. His genius continues to inspire us.

Red-breasted sapsucker, Sphyrapicus ruber

Migratory status of the Red-breasted sapsucker

The Red-breasted sapsucker moves south and down hill in winter in search of better food sources and warmer climates.

How to attract the Red-breasted sapsucker to your garden

The Red -breasted sap suckers prefers to drill sap wells in riparian species such as those in the willow and birch families. They also like other deciduous trees like orchard crops The only times we have ever had serious wood pecker damage to our fruit trees (we have around 100 trees interspersed throughout the nursery) was when we forgot to paint them. When the trunk gets sunburned it begins to bleed sap. The sapsuckers comes to eat sap and insects and peck more holes eventually girdling the trees.

Range of the Red-breasted sapsucker

The Red-breasted sapsucker is a resident in northern California during the winter many birds will move south all the away into southern California. They will also move down from the higher elevations in the Sierra Nevada mountains.

Diet of the Red-breasted sapsucker

Sapsuckers peck holes into trees to produce sap wells. They eat this nutritious syrup as well as the insects that are attracted to it. The Red-breasted sapsucker also eats the cambium of the tree. Like many woodpeckers, the Red-breasted sapsucker loves ants.

Habitat/plant Community used by the Red-breasted sapsucker

The Red-breasted sapsuckers prefers to drill sap wells in riparian species such as those in the willow and birch families. They also like other deciduous trees like orchard crops. The only time we have ever had serious woodpecker damage to our fruit trees, (we have around 100 trees interspersed throughout the nursery), was when we forgot to paint them. When the trunk gets sunburned, it begins to bleed sap. The sapsuckers come to eat sap and insects and peck more holes eventually girdling the trees.

Closed Cone Pine Forest

Lodgepole Pine Forest

Central Oak Woodland

Yellow Pine Forest

Northern Oak Woodland

Southern Oak Woodland

Mixed Evergreen Forest

Riparian

Red Fir forest

Reproduction of the Red-breasted sapsucker

The Red-breasted sapsucker prefers to nest in coniferous or riparian habitats bordering moist open areas such as meadow and streams.

The Red-breasted sapsucker will hybridize with the Red-naped sapsucker making identification difficult.

Niche filled by the Red-breasted sapsucker

The Red-breasted sapsucker uses forests bordering riparian areas.

A female red breasted sap sucker enjoying the  Catalina cherries, Prunus lyonii.
The red breasted sap sucker took a lot of interest in our Catalina Cherry this year.
A juvenile   bugging  an adult Red breast Sapsucker(or Yellow Bellied, photo isn't great)  had other ideas. This was in early December.
A Red Breasted Sapsucker and Yellow Belly Sap Sucker? Or two Red Breasted or two Yellow Breasted or one of each? In a Prunus Lyonii in fall at Santa Margarita.