Ornithology: Research & Projects: Project Sapsucker
Project Sapsucker A project of the Royal Alberta Museum
with the assistance of the
Alberta Sport, Recreation, Parks and Wildlife Foundation
The Royal Alberta Museum needs your help to ascertain the amount and geographical extent of hybridization between the Yellow-bellied (Sphyrapicus varius) and Red-naped sapsuckers (S. nuchalis) in the eastern slope forests of western Alberta. Specifically, we need your assistance to find nests and score specific characteristics of sapsucker parents.
Your assistance will help to answer some of these questions:
- Are there two species of sapsucker in Alberta?
- Is hybridization between the two species a recent phenomenon?
- Is it man-induced?
- Is the hybrid zone stable, or it is moving northward?
- What does it tell us about the past history of the province?
- Are these birds in danger from development in the foothills?
- Take a look at some of the results from the first years of the study
Please enroll! Participants will receive a kit that includes:
- Data forms (Note: A hybrid index can be calculated by assigning 0.5 points to each check box to the left of, and including, the check mark, for each character and totalling them up.)
Reference material, including:
- Background and history of work on the sapsuckers
- When and where to look for sapsuckers and their nests
- How to identify the sapsuckers
If you plan on birding in the project area and would like to participate in the project, please write to:
Royal Alberta Museum
Edmonton, Alberta, T5N 0M6