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December 7, 2003
Mtn Home AFB (Elmore County), Idaho

Observed about 0930 hr for period of several minutes. First seen by Laura Peterson, then Laura took video (8mm) while Stacy took digital pics. All video and most pictures taken trough living room window (storm-panes). Distance: 12 paces (6' tall man; about 12 yards). Some digital pics taken outside (distance about 11 paces). Skies cloudy and overcast. Had just finished raining, and had rained much of previous evening and overnight.

A nearly identical bird was observed well in February of this year in this same yard, but photos were not obtained and the bird was never relocated.

The bird is clearly not a pure Red-naped Sapsucker. However, due to the extreme reported rarity of Red-breasted Sapsucker in Idaho (only one or two "good" records for the state), caution is warranted regarding the possibility of this being a hybrid. I have my own opinions on the bird, but know very little about how hybridization is manifest phenotypically in this species complex. Your thoughts are solicited and appreciated, and may be forwarded to the Idaho Bird Records Committee for consideration (unless you request otherwise). Please tell me what you think about this bird by emailing me at:

Camera: Canon PowerShot Pro90 IS, original resolution 1856x1392, reduced to 640x480 pixels. All photos were "auto-balanced" using MS PictureIt! Photo 7.0, but no other electronic manipulations were done.

10X optical zoom.

10X optical zoom plus 4X digital zoom

10X optical zoom plus 4X digital zoom

10X optical zoom plus 4X digital zoom

10X optical zoom; shot from outdoors (not through windows).

10X optical zoom plus 4X digital zoom.