Thursday, June 18, 2009

Downy Woodpecker

I'm used to seeing Downy Woodpeckers searching through tree limbs for their meals of bugs. Here I recently found a few birds after something that eludes me. (It could be unripe fruit of the Black Cherry, subject of an upcoming post.) I had a terribly hard time getting off good photos--they were so active!

A few days before the above, I found what I think is a fledgling Downie poking around on my little dirt road. This does seem to be baby bird season around here and soon we'll see another species in another upcoming post coming from the same area.

These birds are both females, as each is missing that red spot on the back of the head.


  1. Oh this little guy is cute! I can never remember which is the smaller of the two look alike woodpeckers- the downy or the hairy! I always have to look it up. A few years ago, a nature column in our local paper kept calling the larger ones "harry" woodpeckers, which made me laugh and I've called them that ever since. And I agree- they are difficult to photo; they always seem to move to the opposite side of the tree, spiraling ever upward as they go. I'm sure passers-by have seen me circling a particular tree around and around and wondered just what was wrong with that crazy person- when all I was trying to do was get a photo of a woodpecker!

  2. I did wrestle with the Downy vs Hairy ID. Using the resource below, I figured the first shot as a Downy based on the spotted outer tail feathers.

    As for the second, it could be a young Harry!