At around 6 3/4" (17cm) long, the Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens) is the smallest of North America's classic-shaped woodpeckers. It is found throughout almost all of North America in a variety of habitats. The Downy is the woodpecker most likely to visit backyard feeders. It is by far the most common woodpecker at our feeders here in the Arkansas Ozarks.
The Downy Woodpecker looks very similar to the Hairy Woodpecker, but the Hairy is larger -- around 9 1/4" (24cm) long. The Hairy also has a proportionally larger bill, (usually almost equal to the depth of the head). Finally, the outer tail feathers of the Downy usually have faint dark bars or spots while those on a Hairy are pure white.
A male Downy Woodpecker has a red patch on the back of its head. A juvenile has a red cap.
The Downy Woodpecker sharing our suet feeder with another "D" bird, a Dark-eyed Junco.
The Downy Woodpecker partaking of the pseudo-suet mixture of peanut butter, cornmeal and lard we provide.
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