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Thursday, December 20, 2012

Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens)

I saw a Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens) at this place on the West Bay Walkway 2 years ago and now whenever I pass I stop and look to see if there's another. Yesterday I was lucky and watched this small woodpecker for about five minutes. The Downy Woodpecker is the smallest of North American woodpeckers. Its diminutive size is one characteristic that distinguishes it from its larger relative, the Hairy Woodpecker. Another distinguishing feature can be seen in the photo to the left - some small black spots on the outer white tail feathers. It is quite challenging to photograph these small birds since they rarely sit still when they are foraging for insects clinging to the bark of branches. The 30 second video below gives some idea of their constant searching movement.

1 comment:

William Kendall said...

Certainly smaller than the ones I'm used to!