Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (Sphyrapicus varius)
Birds of North Carolina – Yellow-bellied sapsucker (Carolina Bird Club)
The Yellow-bellied Sapsucker is the only true migratory woodpecker species in eastern North America. It both breeds and winters in the state, though over most of North Carolina it is known as a winter bird, because it nests only at middle and higher elevations in the mountains.
All About Birds – Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (Cornell Lab of Ornithology)
In spring and summer, Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers favor young forests and edge habitat, especially areas regenerating from timber harvesting. There they find lots of fast-growing trees ripe for sapwells. So unlike most woodpecker species, sapsuckers don’t rely on dead trees for feeding, although they do search for trees with decayed heartwood or dead limbs for their cavity nests.
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker Calls and Drum (Cornell Lab of Ornithology)
The Yellow-bellied Sapsucker’s signature call is a scratchy, nasal mewing that is often repeated. They also have a squealing call, a repeated quee-ah, quee-ah, that’s territorial and often heard in breeding season. They also make a waa call when disturbed or to alert others to danger.
Audubon Guide to North American Birds – Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
A Yellow-bellied Sapsucker drills tiny holes in tree bark, usually in neatly spaced rows, and then returns to them periodically to feed on the sap that oozes out. It also eats bits of cambium and other tree tissues, as well as insects that are attracted to the sap.
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency)
Ruby-throated Hummingbirds appear to have a close relationship with sapsuckers. They sometimes place their nest near a tree with sap wells and either feed on the sap or the insects that are attracted to the sap. They may even time their migration to coincide with that of sapsuckers.