Bird of the Week: Downy Woodpecker

Downy Woodpecker

(year around, not common)

(click image for larger size)
Male (female lacks the red patch)

link to more Downy Woodpecker photos:
Photos by Local Color Photography

Downy Woodpecker
Dryobates pubescens
Size and Shape: Downy Woodpeckers are small versions of the classic woodpecker body plan. They have a straight, chisel-like bill, blocky head, wide shoulders, and straight-backed posture as they lean away from tree limbs and onto their tail feathers. The bill tends to look smaller for the bird’s size than in other woodpeckers. About two-thirds the size of a Hairy Woodpecker.
Both Sexes
Length: 5.5-6.7 in (14-17 cm)
Weight: 0.7-1.0 oz (21-28 g)
Wingspan: 9.8-11.8 in (25-30 cm)
Color Pattern: Downy Woodpeckers give a checkered black-and-white impression. The black upperparts are checked with white on the wings, the head is boldly striped, and the back has a broad white stripe down the center. Males have a small red patch on the back of the head. The outer tail feathers are typically white with a few black spots.

Learn more about this bird: The Cornell Lab of Ornithology
Link to Birds Page