[Tweeters] Williamson's Sapsucker -- abnormal plumage one side

Kevin Lucas vikingcove at gmail.com
Fri Mar 4 20:55:13 PST 2016

Williamson's Sapsucker half-normal plumage

My reward for a nice long hike in the snow today was a Williamson's
Sapsucker (WISA) that had yellow only on the left side of its breast. On
its center and right breast were black and white markings -- not the black
with white wisps I usually see on adult males' breast sides. Its
vocalizations and drumming were typical for WISA, and it was calling and
drumming with two or maybe three other WISA. In March of previous years
I've photographed WISA with unusual black markings in what is usually a
solid white wing patch, but this seems like something different is
happening -- where plumage on just one side is wacky.

Can anyone provide me with information on what causes this one side color
abnormality, and whether there's a term for it? So far my Google searches
have landed on albinism and leucism. Maybe it has something to do with

I posted a still image frame capture from a movie, along with a movie in
which you can hear the characteristic WISA drumming. I apologize for the
image shake (superzoom hand held in the cold).
Here are links to the still photo
and to the movie clip
on my Flickr photostream.

Kevin Lucas
Selah, WA

<a href="https://www.aba.org/about/ethics.html" rel="nofollow">Birding
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