Downy Woodpecker

Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens)
A bird slightly longer than the suet cage identifies a Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens).  The very similar Hairy Woodpecker is about 2 inches larger.  I have caught him before, but until now, always with his back to the camera.  At least we get a good look at his red mark.  Females lack the red mark on the back of the head:

Female Downy Woodpecker with a Trio of Juncos

Downies are North America's smallest woodpeckers.  Nevertheless, in their black and white garb, they are also among the handsomest of birds.  I have never seen more than one at a time, but if you encounter a group, call it a "descent," "drumming" or a "gatling" of woodpeckers according to iBird.  Here on South Fidalgo, they are common visitors at the feeders in fall and winter.


  1. This is the first winter I have tried feeding birds. A pair of downy woodpeckers now shows up regularly and my wife and I are really enjoying them. I hope that some other species stop by as well.

    Maybe I need to get a BirdCam!


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