[CT Birds] sapsuckers
ctgregh at yahoo.com
Mon Jun 13 10:57:25 EDT 2016
Chris made the point I was going to make (beat me by a minute:) Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers are extending their breeding range southward, opposite the trend cited for many species and cited as evidence of warming. When I moved to CT a little over 20 years ago, you had to go north of Litchfield to find breeding sapsuckers. Now they're regular as far south at least as the Waterbury-Naugatuck area. Looks like they're starting to move eastward as well after what seemed like just a move south through the western part of the state. I believe they're also regular now in NW NJ. When I lived there and was doing the World Series of Birding, they were absent. I know because I tried for more than a decade to find one for WSB.
I've given this range expansion some thought, since it seems counter to prevailing trends. Here's an idea: As Chris mentioned, they also formerly were quite scarce in winter, but their winter population has increased noticeably as well. This may in fact be tied to a warming trend. Then, already being present in an area just south of their former normal breeding range, they're in position to take up residence when spring conditions, also appearing earlier, occur. The effect of all this on sap flow is maybe a factor as well. Total speculation of course, but something changed.
On Monday, June 13, 2016 8:19 AM, C Wood via CTBirds <ctbirds at lists.ctbirding.org> wrote:
Most definitely more YBSA the last few years, but actually, if you look at the 2002 range map in Birds of North America, you see that the (then) winter range was south of CT and the summer range was north of CT Now they are here year round. Hard to use climate change as an explanation if they are further south in summer and further north in winter. More likely long term reforestation here is the influencing factor.
> On Jun 13, 2016, at 7:47 AM, zellene via CTBirds <ctbirds at lists.ctbirding.org> wrote:
> I have also noticed more sapsuckers than I have ever seen in various locations in CT. They must have had a really good breeding season last year. Or climate change perhaps.
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