Thursday, April 17, 2008

A Walk Through the Habitat: Downy Woodpecker

So as I continued my walk in the Colvin Run Habitat, I ran into this downy woodpecker. I first found him in the dogwood tree where all of the woodpeckers first perch before visiting the suet feeders. Click on the photo and get an enlarged view - take a look at his eyes.
It wasn't long before he left the dogwood perch and flew to the feeder. As discussed previously, the woodpeckers have a flight segment where the wings are completely brought in to the body. This little guy really doesn't look like a bird in flight - perhaps he looks more like a chubby bullet.
As I continued my walk, the downy woodpecker seemed to follow me to the other side of the yard, where he took up a more classic woodpecker pose on the side of this large branch. Within two weeks this photo would not be possible. The maples are in the early stages of leaving. When the leaves are fully out, the birds will have the protection of a cover of leaves.
The downy finally found the end of this broken-off branch where he (a male, note the red on the back of the head) began looking for insects. Apparently, this broken-off branch is a favorite of the woodpeckers.

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