Monday, August 08, 2016

Downy Woodpecker

I was watching the birds at the feeder when I noticed movement on another tree. It was a small woodpecker, presumably a Downy woodpecker, the smallest of the North American woodpeckers and both common and widespread. This would be a female since the males have red on their heads.

Usually they don't hang around but it stayed long enough for me to call Shelley to have a look. I watched it for a few minutes more and it seemed to be staying put so I ran for my camera and long lens (hard to change lenses one handed!). Amazingly, it was still there when I got outside. It didn't fly away as I got closer, but it did gradually move higher up the tree, making it hard to get good shots. Eventually it did fly away but I managed a few reasonable photos.

Downy woodpecker

In some of the shots, like the one below, you can see it has something in its beak. If it had been at the feeder I'd say it was a sunflower seed, but it had been on the tree the whole time. Possibly some kind of beetle? Or maybe some other bird had stashed sunflower seeds under the bark?

Downy woodpecker

See all 5 photos as a slideshow or overview

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