Classification of Williamson’s Sapsucker calls

Les W. Gyug

Okanagan Wildlife Consulting, 3130 Ensign Way, Westbank, B.C. V4T 1T9; e-mail:

Abstract: Williamson’s Sapsucker (Sphyrapicus thyroideus) calls have been described anecdotally but without published pectrograms, and there has been confusion in application of the naming scheme. I revised the classification of Williamson’s Sapsucker calls and provided spectrograms for all common calls. The basic territorial call is the Chyaah (formerly known as the Churr) which may contain either broadband noise, tonal structure, or both in one call. The Scold (which sounds like a soft churrr with a rolled r) is the call most commonly given to intruders near nests. Other calls are the Chatter, Rattle, Ca-haw (an intense introduction to the Chatter), Soft Chatter (low intensity calls between mates), Pa-chik-a-wik (for which a recording was not available and which is not illustrated here), Scream, and several nestling calls.

Key words: Williamson’s Sapsucker, Sphyrapicus thyroideus, call names, spectrograms

PDFicon Gyug, L. 2009. Classification of Williamson’s Sapsucker calls. British Columbia Birds 19:16-23.


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