Downy Woodpecker

photo by Andrew McKinlay CC BY-NC

Downy Woodpecker (5.5-6.5 in) are North America's smallest woodpecker and are found year-round in forests and cities throughout North America. They are boldly patterned in black and white with a white belly, a white stripe down the back, a striped head, and checkered wings. Males have a small red patch on the back of their head.

Downy Woodpecker are very active, acrobatic birds and will hang upside down to look for insects. You may hear their high-pitched call or the sound of them drumming on wood to hollow out a nest cavity. They join mixed flocks of birds in the winter.

Could it be? Hairy Woodpecker have similar markings but are much larger (7-10 in) and have a longer bill (almost as long as their head).

Did you know? The woodpeckers' chisel-shaped beak is designed to dig holes in wood while their long barbed tongue can search crevices for food.

See Also: Northern Flicker, Pileated Woodpecker