Downy Woodpecker

Downy Woodpecker Scientific Classification
Scientific name
D. pubescens
Downy Woodpecker Physical Characteristics
Black, White
14 million
One to Three Years
0.74-0.99 ounces
Downy Woodpecker Distribition

“Downy woodpeckers look a little various relying on where they lie.”

The little woodpeckers are a typical view at bird feeders and in yards. Commonly, they sign up with groups of various other birds to execute acrobatic accomplishments of foraging. You’ll commonly discover them stabilizing on little branches and along cords.

4 Remarkable Downy Woodpecker Realities

  • Birds of a plume: The downy woodpecker will certainly group with nearly any kind of bird, specifically in the winter season. This assists them discover food simpler and avoids them from being consumed.
  • Sex issues: Male downy woodpeckers favor to prey on smaller sized branches and weed stems. Nonetheless, females prey on bigger branches and trunks. It appears that males might protect against females from accessing the a lot more efficient areas.
  • In some cases, little is much better: These little woodpeckers eat food bigger woodpeckers simply can not get to.
  • Quiet drummers: While these birds do not sing a lot, they drum noisally on timber and steel items. This is not component of their feeding pattern. Rather, it is exactly how they interact. When consuming, these birds are really silent.

Where to Discover Downy Woodpeckers

These birds have a rather lengthy array. They are belonging to deciduous, forested locations in The United States and Canada. Past the demand for trees, you can discover them nearly anywhere on this continent, consisting of in the USA and Canada. The only locations you will not find them remain in the deserts of the southwest and north expanses.

Normally, you can discover these birds in woody locations, parks, and yards. You can commonly follow their drumming sounds to find them. As they commonly group with chickadees, they can be very easy to miss out on.

Downy Woodpecker Nests

These woodpeckers select dead trees or the dead components of an online tree to nest in. commonly, they select a smaller sized component of the tree that diverts from the trunk. After that, they put the entry opening under. Typically, the opening is little, as these are fairly smaller sized birds. The entry is typically just an inch throughout.

Commonly, they select trees that are contaminated with fungi. The fungi softens the timber, that makes digging deep into an opening simpler.

Both the male and female participate in making the nest. As this is a large work, it typically takes them one to 3 weeks to finish. When done, the tooth cavities vary from 6 to twelve inches deep. Commonly, they are bigger in the direction of all-time low to include the eggs. Past that, a conventional “nest” is not developed. The opening is just lined with timber chips from the excavation.

Downy Woodpecker Scientific Name

The downy woodpecker’s scientific name has actually differed significantly throughout the years. This species has actually been moved a whole lot as scientific understanding of species connections has actually enhanced. Presently, its scientific name is Dryobates pubescens

Pubescens is just Latin for “downy,” which has actually been the bird’s typical name for a long period of time. Dryobates converts to “woodland pedestrian.” It is a bigger genus of birds that is commonly dispersed throughout the globe. Presently, it includes 5 various species.

The downy woodpecker comes from the bigger Picidae family, which includes all woodpeckers. As you ‘d likely presume, this family is big and extends worldwide.

Downy Woodpecker Dimension, Appearance, & & Actions

The downy woodpecker is the tiniest woodpecker in The United States and Canada. Nonetheless, there are some little species on various other continents. These birds step 5.5 to 7.1 inches, with a wingspan of 9.8 to 12.2 inches. They commonly evaluate simply under an ounce, though some might evaluate as long as 1.16 ounces.

Generally, this bird is primarily black. Nonetheless, it does attribute white on its bottom, head, and wings. Males have a red spot on the back of their heads, while juveniles have a red cap. Their costs is rather brief, specifically when contrasted to various other woodpeckers.

Typically, this species is referred to as exceptionally energetic. They relocate promptly in between lawn stems and wildflowers to gather insects and various other food things. To boost their equilibrium, they lean on their tail plumes for assistance. For that reason, they can stroll on really slim arm or legs.

Periodically, you’ll see this bird get on the ground for food. Nonetheless, they do relocate really promptly.

downy woodpecker
The downy woodpecker is the tiniest woodpecker in The United States and Canada.

Steve Byland/Shutterstock. com

Downy Woodpecker Diet

Usually, this woodpecker has a similar diet to various other woodpeckers.

What does the downy woodpecker eat?

The downy woodpecker obtains a lot of its calories from insects, such as beetle larvae. Commonly, this species will certainly inculcate a tree to capture bugs and select them off the lawn. These birds eat a great deal of various “insect insects,” so they are commonly well- liked by garden enthusiasts.

Nonetheless, concerning 25% of their diet is comprised of plant product. They delight in berries, grains, and acorns specifically. Additionally, they likewise such as to eat sunflower seeds from bird feeders, and they might also periodically consume alcohol from hummingbird feeders.

Downy Woodpecker Predators, Risks, and Conservation Status

Presently, the downy woodpecker populace is quite secure. For that reason, their conservation status is “least concern””. There does not appear to be any kind of present risk to their populace.

What consumes downy woodpeckers?

These birds are preyed upon by birds of victim. In their array, they are typically intimidated by the American kestrel, sharp- shinned hawk, and the Cooper’s hawk. Commonly, these birds are recorded while in trip. While they aren’t bad leaflets, they typically aren’t the finest, either.

Normally, just snakes take advantage of their eggs. The means they construct their nest shields their eggs from nearly anything that isn’t a snake. Various other animals just can not enter their nests.

Reproduction, Youthful, and Molting

After digging deep into a nest, these birds commonly lay anywhere from 3 to 8 eggs. This array is instead big, yet we do not recognize for specific what triggers one bird to lay even more eggs than various other. Every year, a mated pair will just elevate a solitary brood. The eggs are entirely white and with no quickly recognizable markings.

The incubation duration is precisely 12 days. Then, the eggs will certainly hatch out. Nonetheless, the children continue to be in the nest as hatchlings for 18- 21 days.


The complete reproducing populace of the downy woodpecker is around 14 million birds. According to the IUCN Red Checklist, they are identified as least concern. Their populace is believed to be secure and respected.


  1. All About Birds, Available here:
  2. Wikipedia, Available here:
  3. National Parks Services, Available here:

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