Downy  Woodpecker

SCIENTIFIC NAME: Picoides Pubescens

Downy Woodpecker

Adults have black and white plumage, with white in the middle of the back, and also on breast and belly, where white becomes greyish. Their wings are black with white spots, their tail is black, with white outer feathers, and sometimes barred with black.

Their head is black and has a white stripe above and below the eyes. They have whitish feathers above their bill, black cheeks, and thin black mustache extending to the neck and upper sides of breast.

Males have a small red patch on the rear crown. Their bill is thick, short, black and chisel-shaped, but smaller than other woodpeckers and their eyes are dark, legs and feet are pale gray.

Females lack the red patch on the head but have a black patch.

Juvenile males have a red forehead but lack the red patch on the rear crown.

Juvenile females are similar but lack the red patch.

BILL: black, thick, short and chisel-shaped.

SIZE: small, total length ranges from 5.5 - 7.1 inches, with a wingspan of 9.8 - 12.2 inches.

WEIGHT: weight ranges from 20 - 33 grams.

COLOR: black,  white, gray, pale gray, and red.

Feeds mainly on insects like beetles, ants, bugs and caterpillars, and arthropods, fruits, seeds, sap, spiders, and suet from feeders.

Primary Diet: omnivore.

Animal Foods: insects, terrestrial non-insect arthropods.

Plant Foods: wood, bark, or stems seeds, grains, and nuts fruit sap or other plant fluids.

Woodlands, deciduous forests in riparian areas, orchards, parks, and urban areas.

North American continent and in parts of Canada.

They have a wide variety of sounds. It utters “pik”, introducing rattle calls, during aggressive behavior. Young birds utter short “wad” and “chirp” calls, and also a longer note, the squeak. They also have a scolding, squeak, screech and distress calls. They use drumming, a non-vocal sound, to communicate.

NEST: nest is excavated by both male and female, in a dead climb, or a living or dead tree and lined only with wood chips, with the opening concealed by mosses and lichens.

EGGS:  3 - 8 white glossy eggs. 

INCUBATION: 12 days, both parents. Male incubates at night, the female during the day.

FLEDGLING AGE: 18 - 21 days.

They are diurnal and non-migratory. They are solitary, though they are occasionally seen foraging in loose association. Males defend a territory against other males, and females defend a territory against females. They use threat displays, such as wing flicking, or fanning their tail, raising their crest and holding their bill high to try to drive the intruder away, if it does not work, they may attack the intruder, grappling with them in mid-air.

The Downy Woodpecker, also known as the Batchelder's Woodpecker, Gairdner's Woodpecker,
Southern Downy or the Willow Woodpecker is the smallest of Northen America’s woodpeckers.

Downy Woodpecker Infographics









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