Downy Woodpecker

Downy Woodpecker, Picoides pubescens

Downies are the smallest and the friendliest of the North American woodpeckers. Like their tree-hammering relatives, a strong bill, neck, and reinforced skull protect the brain from repeated hammering, and bristly feathers protect the nostrils. This species is 7 inches in length; the back and belly are white with white spotted black wings. Males have a red patch on the head and both have a thin black mustache. Foraging among foliage and under bark, the woodpecker consumes insects, larvae and grubs. (Field Guide to Backyard Birds of the South, 2008)

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