CBC Chat Forum Thread

AuthorTopic: Sapsuckers
Noel Elms Sapsuckersposted at 18/04/2013 08:55:47

The following account may only be of interest to those who like me, are primarily birdwatchers in the literal sense.

Earlier in the year, major surgery was carried out on a mature Silver Birch in my garden and recently, the resulting wounds have allowed sap to flow down the trunk. This has proved very attractive to the local Blue Tits so much so that the sunflower hearts and fat balls on offer nearby are totally ignored. Blue Tits taking nectar from willow catkins in Spring is well documented and close observation of the birds at this time can reveal a yellow, sticky deposit at the base of the upper mandible. Many of the Blue Tits I have trapped in the Spring months showed this deposit extending well up onto the forehead particularly where Sallow is abundant but I cannot recall seeing Blue Tits taking advantage
of the sap oozing from tree wounds before.

Kath & Mick Claydon Re: Sapsuckersposted at 18/04/2013 16:20:50

There is brief mention of this in some of the literature but I've never seen it myself - something to watch out for.

Noel Elms Re: Re: Sapsuckersposted at 19/04/2013 17:33:48

My thanks to those  who have informed me,including off-forum, that this practice is not unknown. My attention was drawn to a Note in British Birds dating back to April 1958 which cites not only Blue Tit but Marsh Tit, Long-tailed Tit, Coal Tit, Goldcrest and Nuthatch drinking sap from the same Silver Birch.

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