Downy Woodpecker

Picoides pubescens

Order

PICIFORMES

Family

Woodpeckers (Picidae)

Code 4

DOWO

Code 6

PICPUB

ITIS

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ILLUSTRATION

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PHOTOS

CONSERVATION STATUS

Least Concern

The Downy Woodpecker has a large range, estimated globally at 13,000,000 square kilometers. It is native to Canada, the United States and Saint Pierre and Miquelon. This bird prefers forest ecosystems that are boreal, temperate, subtropical, or tropical, though it has been known to reside in rural and urban areas. The global population of this bird is estimated at 13,000,000 individuals and it does not appear to meet population size or decline criteria that would necessitate inclusion on the IUCN Red List. The current evaluation status of the Downy Woodpecker is Least Concern.

IBIRD EXPLORER GENERAL

PHOTO SHARING AND DISCUSSION

BIRD PHOTOGRAPHY

SUMMARY

Overview

Downy Woodpecker: The smallest woodpecker in North America. Has a white back, black nape and black wings with white spotting. Underparts are white. Face is white with black stripes. Hindcrown patch is red. Tail is black with black-spotted or barred white outer tail feathers. Bill is black and short.


Range and Habitat

Downy Woodpecker: Resident from Alaska. Found across most of North America to Central America. Mostly permanent residents. Northern birds may migrate further south; birds in mountainous areas may move to lower elevations. Preferred habitats include forested areas, mainly deciduous, parks, and gardens. Roost in tree cavities in the winter.

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SONGS AND CALLS

Voice Text

"pik"

INTERESTING FACTS

  • As the smallest North American woodpecker, the Downy can drill cavities in dead trees or limbs that measure as little as 10 cm around. This means that it can live in a wider range of habitat than can larger woodpeckers.
  • Males tend to feed in the tops of trees on branches that are small in diameter, females feed midlevel and lower on larger diameter branches.
  • The Downy Woodpecker uses sources of food that larger woodpeckers cannot, such as the insect fauna on weed stems.
  • A group of woodpeckers has many collective nouns, including a "descent", "drumming", and "gatling" of woodpeckers.

SIMILAR BIRDS

RANGE MAP

CERange Map for Downy Woodpecker

FAMILY DESCRIPTION

TERMINOLOGY

CREDITS

Author

Gary Owen Dick

Artist

Yury Lisyak

HELP ME IDENTIFY A BIRD

BACKYARD BIRDING

BIRDS AND BIRDING

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UnderpartsX
Belly, undertail coverts, chest, flanks, and foreneck.
FaceX
The front part of the head consisting of the bill, eyes, cheeks and chin.
NapeX
Also called the hindneck or collar, it is the back of the neck where the head joins the body.
Outer tail feathersX
The tail feathers farthest from the center.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X