Field identification tips: All sapsuckers (genus Sphyrapicus) are woodpeckers with a bold white stripe on the wing when folded, which may be hidden under body contour feathers. This hybrid shows a variable blend of the black-and-white facial pattern of the Red-naped Sapsucker (Sphyrapicus nuchalis_x_ruber) with an overlay of the more extensive red crown, nape and breast of the Red-breasted Sapsucker (Sphyrapicus ruber).
Typical range: In spring and summer S. nuchalis x ruber is most likely found near the area where the breeding ranges of S. nuchalis and S. ruber overlap in the western Great Basin of North America. Winter dispersal seems to follow that of S. ruber to the lower elevations of the pacific states. Individuals have also been observed in Arizona, Idaho and Colorado.