Guest Author - Lisa Shea
The Downy Woodpecker, Picoides pubescens, is a cute little woodpecker that loves suet feeders and even sunflower seeds. A common sight at many backyard feeders, it is around 9.5" long with a short beak, white body, and black wings with white stripes. The male has a dot of red on the back of his head.
The Downy is often confused with the Hairy - note the Hairy is much larger, does not have black spots on the sides of its tail, and has a beak as long as its head is. The Downy´s beak is only about half the length of its head. In the below photo, the downy is on the left, while the hairy is on the right.
The Downy woodpecker makes soft little "pick" sounds.
The Downy lives across the US and Canada, covering just about every state in the eastern US except parts of Texas. The small woodpecker enjoys forests and woodlands.
Downy Woodpecker Photos - Male
Downy Woodpecker Photos - Female
Make your own Suet - a tasty Woodpecker treat
Suet - Lard vs Vegetable Shortening
Hairy Woodpecker Information
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Photos by Lisa Shea