2 Downy Woodpeckers

This gallery contains 2 photos. This male Downy Woodpecker announced himself with a trademark chip-chip-chip repertoire before descending onto this thin branch. I generally don’t get these kinds of photo opportunities with the (more secretive) Downy males. Taken on BC Family Day (February 8) 2016, at the DeBoville Slough in Coquitlam.

I could not ask for better lighting (and nothing says “I’m a guy!” like that red spot).

f/8, 1/400, 500mm, ISO 200

This female Downy Woodpecker was so engrossed in finding the insects hidden in the mossy trunk of this tree that she wasn’t concerned about the photographer clicking away. She alternated between the bugs and the birdseed feeder (hung from yet another tree nearby). Taken on March 21, 2015, at the Burnaby Lake Nature House on Piper Spit.

Downies are common year round sights on the backyard suet feeder and fruit trees.
f/6.3, 1/500, 500mm, ISO 1600

If you live in the U.S. or Canada, chances are good that you’ll see this woodpecker at least once or twice, because Downies have a wide range in North America. Like Nuthatches, they will assume unorthodox positions on a tree (although I’ve yet to find one hanging upside down).

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29 thoughts on “2 Downy Woodpeckers

  1. So very beautiful up close – they are my favorite birds to watch- quite entertaining when a group of them descend on my feeders- they are very acrobatic! The male’s red looks almost painted on- such a wonderful capture!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I was so lucky to get the male out in the open and under ideal lighting conditions. normally Downies are too far up in the tree and/or they are in the shadows … that’s been my experience, anyway.

      you’re lucky to get a group of them feeding at the same time!–the most I’ve had in the backyard is three, but they tend to show up in singles. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Rightly God put black bandit masks on these critters to hide their true identities because they steal your sleep and the integrity of your outer walls! Their work is costly and almost futile to repair because they return to the sites of their crimes and have at it again. They are shameless!

    Liked by 1 person

    • hmm! I have (fortunately) yet to see any destruction of property on the parts of Downies; in our backyard, they confine their activities to the insects in the fruit trees.

      Northern Flicker males, on the other hand, do drum on everything and anything (metal as well as wood). I remember one who had left a nice hole in the roof of my parents’ house quite a few years ago because he was responding to his annual ‘springtime urges’. the backyard suet feeder helps channel their tendencies to announce themselves in a less destructive manner. ultimately though, nature is nature, and we have to learn to live with them (and vice versa) if not love them. 🙂


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