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Downy Woodpecker

Downy woodpeckers are the smallest of North America's woodpeckers but there are many smaller species elsewhere, especially the piculets. The total length of the species ranges from 14 to 18 cm (5.5 to 7.1 in) and the wingspan from 25 to 31 cm (9.8 to 12.2 in). They love to eat suet from feeders in the winter. This little guy is currently winter feeding - eating my homemade suet. Enjoy little guy!

Downy Woodpecker

Downy woodpeckers are the smallest of North America’s woodpeckers but there are many smaller species elsewhere, especially the piculets.





What They Look Like:
A black and white bird with a red patch of feathers on the back of the head.

Downy Woodpecker

Size:
The total length of the species ranges from 14 to 18 cm (5.5 to 7.1 in) and the wingspan from 25 to 31 cm (9.8 to 12.2 in).

Where You Find Them:

All across North America in woodland areas, gardens, parks and orchards.

What They Eat:
Gypsy moth
Wood-boring grubs
Carpenter ants
Gall wasps
Beetles

Caterpillars
Seeds

Berries
Suet

Who My Twin?

Downy woodpeckers are about 2/3 the size of hairy woodpeckers.  In most other aspects they are very similar and very much confused for one another a good portion of the time.

Hairy Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker

• Hairy woodpeckers are larger
• Their bills are larger – about the size of their head.

 

Mating and Raising Young

They downy woodpeckers do have songs that they sing, but mainly attract mates by drumming on trees.

Building Nest & Care For Young

Both the male and female will excavate nest cavities in dead limbs or dead trees. The pair normally raises one brood together.

• The female lays 4 to 5 white eggs between April and late May.

• Both parents sit on the nest and take turns feeding the young insects.

• Young leave the nest around the 20th day.


This little downy is currently winter feeding – eating my homemade suet. In winter the downy woodpecker normally is found in areas where you find chickadees and nuthatches. Enjoy little guy!

Additional Posts That May Interest You:
Drying Sunflower Heads for the Birds
11 Birds that Will Eat Oranges at Your Feeder
Video – How to Make Hangable Birdseed Ornaments
Make Your Own Suet

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