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Both images below were captured in same area, on same day in May this year, in the backcountry west of Hwy 5A, between Merritt and Princeton. The first image is clearly a Red-naped Sapsucker. I am curious about the second image. Although the red markings around the head would suggest this too was a Red-naped, the bird is lacking the black bib and is also lacking the solid white barring on the side that my birding guides describe as key features of the Red-naped. None of my birding resources offer any suggestion or explanation as to why a Red-naped might be missing this white barring, or lack a black bib. I am wondering if this is a juvenile, or a form of hybrid, or if there is some other explanation.

ImageRed-naped Sapsucker (Sphyrapicus nuchalis) Male With Solid White Wingbar by Randy, on Flickr

ImageRed-naped Sapsucker (Sphyrapicus nuchalis) Male Without Solid White Wingbar by Randy, on Flickr

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