Downy Woodpecker Building A Nest

Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens) by Raymond Barlow

Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens) by Raymond Barlow

The trees of the LORD are full of sap, The cedars of Lebanon which He planted, Where the birds make their nests; The stork has her home in the fir trees. (Psalms 104:16-17 NKJV)

This video was mentioned in a BRDBRAIN report. That is a bird reporting service at the Univ. of South Florida. It is so interesting that I wanted to share it and also find out a little more about our little Woodpecker friend.

Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens) Male ©WikiC

Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens) Male ©WikiC

This video was taken by Mark Vance in Sarasota, Florida. I am glad he shared it on YouTube.

So what is a Downy Woodpecker? They are the Woodpecker that we all confuse with a Hairy Woodpecker. In the books they show you the differences, which make sense, but when out in the field, that is another story. Especially if there isn’t one of each to compare with the other. (The joys of birdwatching!)

  • Downy Woodpecker are the one with the smaller bill, about half the size of its head, whereas the Woody’s bill is as long as it head size.
  • The Downy is about 6-7 inches, and the Woody is 9-11 inches.
  • The markings are almost identical and their ranges are almost the same, except the Downy is not in the Southwest and Mexico.
  • Downy are bolder and the Woody is shier.
  • Both downy and hairy woodpeckers are cavity nesting birds, and if you are fortunate to see a nesting hole it can be a clue toward the bird’s identity. Downy woodpeckers excavate smaller, round cavities while hairy woodpeckers have larger, more oval-shaped cavities.

 

Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens) Female-lacks red patch on back ©WikiC

Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens) Female-lacks red patch on back ©WikiC

From Sibley’s Website:

Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens) Female ©WikiC

Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens) Female ©WikiC

From Others:

Hairy Woodpecker (Picoides villosus) by Daves BirdingPix

Hairy Woodpecker (Picoides villosus) by Daves BirdingPix

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5 thoughts on “Downy Woodpecker Building A Nest

  1. Thanks for all the comments about our little Downy. I also had never seen one working on a nest like this one. Sure glad the Lord created them with such a “hard head” that is well designed.

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