Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens) – Woodpecker Week pt 2

– Scientific Classification –

Picoides pubescens Deutsch: Dunenspecht in Poq...

Image via Wikipedia

The Downy Woodpecker is common in wooded habitats, especially deciduous forests with patchy sections comprised of brush or trees. They are the smallest woodpecker in North America and have quite a large home range.

Approximate range/distribution map of the Down...

Image via Wikipedia

Downy Woodpeckers are distinguished from most other woodpeckers (aside from the Hairy Woodpecker, found in mature forests) by the white patch on their back and the white flanks. If you are able to handle a woodpecker, via techniques like mist netting, the Downy has black dots on the outer retrices (tail feathers). Be careful, as they can be more aggressive in hand than the Hairy. The bill of the Downy is short, often smaller than the head length.

Here’s a video featuring a very cute Downy showing you some of the feeding adaptations woodpeckers possess:



  • The Sibley Field Guide to Birds of Eastern North America

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