Posted by on Nov 16, 2011 in Backyard Birds, Birds | 0 comments

One of the most enjoyable feathered friends at my backyard feeder is the Downy Woodpecker.  It’sNorth America’s smallest woodpecker.  I see them feeding along with chickadees, nuthatches and titmice frequently.  The male and female look the same except for the bright red patch on the back of the male’s head.  Juvenile males have the red cap which later becomes the patch more on the nape of the neck.  In winter, they come to my suet feeder frequently as the suet is a high energy blend.  The Downy is quite the acrobat with its clinging feet that enables it to climb, hang and move quickly into flight.  They forage on trees with insects and are never far from their nest in cavities.  Both male and female feed the little ones.

I remember the joy when I witnessed the first Downy visit my feeder.  It was the male who would come.  At first, he was cautious and quick as lightening.  He would grab a little suet and off he would go.  For the first while I saw him twice a day usually in the morning and then again at “suppertime.”  Now, the female visits also and I have thought it was just one pair.  They visit so frequently throughout the day that I’m thinking the word of good suet has spread and I have a flock making the visits!

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