This gallery contains 6 photos. I was surprised to learn that Downy Woodpeckers (the smallest woodpeckers in North America) are like chickadees and Sandhill Cranes … these wild birds will feed from your hands if you are lucky and patient enough!
Two weeks ago, it was his mate, and now the calm, cool, and collected male Downy Woodpecker is letting me inch closer to capture him: from 10 feet, to 8, to 6, to less than 4 feet away. This time, I didn’t need to chirp to engage avian curiosity.
Here he is, giving me the eye … or, at least, keeping one eye on me.
It looks like he’s sporting dreadlocks (or suffering from male pattern baldness). It’s neither; the sparseness of his trademark red spot is actually due to the fact that it was raining late yesterday afternoon when these photos were taken (it changed to snow shortly after).
Inclement weather will not keep these birds from getting a good meal. They cleaned out everything — and I mean, everything — from the seed bowls and suet feeder two days ago.
Yesterday, the annihilation was less than total (thanks to the Varied Thrushes, Fox Sparrow, Golden-Crowned Sparrow, Juncos, and Spotted Towhees; the only birds missing in action were the Black-Capped Chickadees and Bushtits) — but not by a whole lot.