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Downy Woodpecker

Posted by Edwin Bowe on August 16, 2021 at 1:59 pm
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Location: Nicholasville, Kentucky
Downy woodpeckers are common visitors to our sunflower, peanut heart, and suet feeders; although hairy woodpeckers also visit occasionally, their visits are much less frequent. This image shows the common characteristics of both downy and hairy woodpeckers, including the vertical white stripe down the back, the black and white checked pattern on the wings and the patch of red on the back of the head (characteristic of males). Downy woodpeckers are differentiated from hairy woodpeckers based on size (the hairy woodpecker is about 50% larger), the size of the bill (larger in hairy woodpeckers), and the tail feathers. (As shown in this photograph downy woodpeckers have black spots on the outer tail feathers, while hairy woodpeckers in the eastern US lack these spots and have pure white outer tail feathers.)