We returned from Florida yesterday to a yard full of empty feeders. Leaving for a period of time and allowing feeders to go empty is not detrimental to the birds, especially during the summer when natural food supplies are plentiful.
We knew that we'd be returning to some fledgling birds and we weren't disappointed. Hairy Woodpeckers have fledged as have the Yellow bellied Sapsuckers.
This well-camouflaged fledgling sapsucker was tucked in a notch of the mountain ash in the corner of the yard. This tree has had multiple years of sapsucker use, though you can see some newer holes oozing sap.
When dad came to the tree, junior got vocal...
...then watched dad drill more new sap wells.
Sapsuckers primarily eat the sap that flows from the wells they drill. Sap holes usually produce for 3-4 days before they become plugged. Sapsuckers will work the holes to keep sap flowing. When new holes are needed, they drill them close to the old holes. Besides sap, they also eat a large quantity of insects. Mayflies and ants are the most important insects in their diet.