Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Downy Woodpeckers

These cute li'l woodpeckers are resident (don't migrate) in most of North America.  They aren't picky about urban environments, either!  We have them year round, in our little city yard. 

They eat sunflower seeds, peanuts and suet. 

You can tell them from their larger cousins, the Hairy Woodpeckers, in a few ways.  If you get a good view, the Hairy has a proportionately larger bill.  If they come to the food you've put out, you can use the feeder as a point of reference.  I have a peanut feeder that the Hairies must curl their tails up to use. 

If you hear them, Downies go "peek!  peek!" and Hairies go "pick!  pick!".  It seems to my untrained ear that the Hairies have a slightly deeper voice.  Maybe.

Snapped this cutie at the Ft. Whyte Center, November of 2005.

They don't often come to the baths, so I was pretty happy to get these pictures of this little girl!  She splashed around for a couple of minutes, then retreated to preen.  None of my pictures of her preening are any good though (of course)!  From May, 2009

I got a kick out of this one, you don't often get to see woodpeckers from this angle!  Is it just me, or does she look a little cross-eyed?

We don't get a lot of good light in the backyard during the winter.  So getting this photo (February of 2010) was a treat, also!

Seems odd that my best photos of Downies are of females.  We do get the males here too, really!  Guess I'll chalk it up to uncooperation on their part!

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