A-Z Challenge – D is for Downy Woodpecker

The feature image is a female Downy Woodpecker at one of our feeders with a peanut in the beak. Caught red handed!


Female Downy Woodpecker perched on a branch above the feeders preparing to debark upon the food.

Downy Woodpeckers are a small woodpecker 5.5-6.5 inches long (14-17 cm). They are often seen on backyard feeders. These woodpeckers prefer suet, black oil sunflower seeds, millet, peanuts and chunky peanut butter. They look like the Hairy Woodpecker but about 2/3 the size and can cause a beginner birder some real identification issues. They are black and white with a solid white stripe down the center of their back.


Male Downy Woodpecker digging insects out of a small rotted tree on the side of the funeral home up the street.

The male is distinguishable by the red cap on his head. They can be seen throughout most of North America and in Bermuda. In the winter, Downy Woodpeckers often fly with other species in mixed flocks which allows them to spend less time looking for predators. Safety in numbers!

This is my first time participating in April Blogging from A-Z Challenge. As a birder and photographer, I will be sharing a new bird with you every day. I host a weekly photo challenge called Bird Weekly and would love for you to stop by anytime. Join in if that is your thing too.

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16 Comments on “A-Z Challenge – D is for Downy Woodpecker

    • Yes, we saw them when were there in September, 2019. Got a look at a Hairy too while we were there. He was in a tree at the B&B we were staying in Montana! That is always a treat! 🙂

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