Downy Woodpecker. Bird Watching Downy Woodpeckers.


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British Columbia Outdoor Wilderness Guide


Downy Woodpecker
Picoides pubescens


Description - This sparrow-sized bird is black and white with a short, stubby bill. The male has a small red patch on the nape. The voice is a quiet "pik" and a descending rattle.

Distribution - This woodpecker occurs from Alaska across Canada and south throughout the United States except in the southwest. They prefer woodlands, parks and gardens.

Biology - When feeding, the male chisels deep into the wood of a tree with its large, strong bill searching for insects; the female, whose bill is shorter, pries under the bark thus enabling the pair to share food resources without competition. The nest is made in a hole in a tree where 4-5 white eggs are laid.


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Downy Woodpecker. Bird Watching Downy Woodpeckers.