Sunday, September 10, 2006

Downy Woodpecker Hangs on Windows

This downy woodpecker perched at the windows on the back porch (aka, the habitat observation deck). Dot, reading on the porch, called “you have a visitor” which is her way of saying, bring the camera. Unlike the cardinals who sometimes ‘attack’ their reflection in the glass windows, this guy simply paid a restful visit, allowed me to get quite close to photograph, and finally flew away. You can identify this downy as a male by the red patch on the back of his head.

The downy woodpeckers, the smallest woodpecker in North America, began to visit the habitat often after I added suet as a constant food to the feeders this past spring. From the other photos, you can see that the downy enjoys time in the maple trees that line the habitat. If there are insects to be found in the tree bark, the downy will find them. The downy, in addition to its sparrow size, can be differentiated from the similar hairy woodpecker by the white patch on the center of its back and its stubby bill.

Other woodpeckers that are common visitors, depending on the season, are the red-bellied woodpecker and the northern flicker. We’ll leave those to another blog posting. Posted by Picasa

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