Juvenile Red-naped Sapsucker in the high Uintas

Juvenile Red-naped SapsuckerJuvenile Red-naped Sapsucker – Nikon D200, tripod mounted, f6.3, 1/180, ISO 320, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light

This juvenile Red-naped Sapsucker image was taken on my first camping trip in the high Uintas in Summit County, Utah not far from Christmas Meadows. I heard a noise and looked up to see this immature bird clinging to a conifer well within range of my 200-400mm lens.

The campsite was close to the Bear River where I could hear the breeze in the tall trees and willows as I fell asleep at night. I’d lived as a flatlander in Florida for far too long so it was truly a delight to be back in the mountains with crisp air and fresh water where I didn’t have to worry about Alligators lurking near to the shoreline.

It was an awesome location for my first camping trip in Utah!


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About Mia McPherson

I am a nature lover, wildlife watcher and a bird photographer. I first become serious about bird photography when I moved to Florida in 2004 and it wasn’t long before I was hooked (addicted is more like it). My move to the Salt Lake area of Utah was a great opportunity to continue observing their behavior and to pursue my passion for photographing birds.


  1. Wow what a cool bird! I love the photo too!

  2. Hi Mia!!! I’m still here. Just been a crazy birder:)Nice close up shot of this difficult bird to get on camera:) They always seem to know when you’re trying to take a picture of them:) It’s a constant game swirling around the tree for that shot:)

  3. Sounds like you had a wonderful time on your first Utah camping trip. I have never seen one of these woodpeckers before, so it especially nice to view your fantastic photograph.

  4. Jane Chesebrough

    That is a nice sound to fall asleep to and love being woken up by the Townsend’s Solitaires and Veery’s.Like the photo haven’t seen a sapsucker for some time.

  5. Love the contrasting colors in this, Mia. And juvenile birds are just so cute…

  6. Lovely photo, sapsuckers are always so fun to watch!

  7. Hmm interesting, I don’t believe I’ve seen a sapsucker in these parts. Something to look for now! Great shot too as most of those little puppies are fast.

    • Sherry, I looked that the range maps and it seems that in western and southwestern Montana there are Williamson’s and Red-naped Sapsuckers. Thanks for your comment.

  8. Wonderful shot! Sounds like a great time.

  9. This is a new species to me. So not only the caterpillars go for sap. I know what you mean about the gators. Even at the Viera wetlands you had to be careful. But they’re reptiles, so they’re at home there. Today I’m going back to check on the cocoons today, but they can come out so quickly there’s no telling I’ll be able to shoot it.

  10. beautifull capture, normaly the juvenile arent too wild for the observation
    have a nice week end mia ☼

  11. Superb woodpecker type photo.

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