Thursday, February 27, 2014

Downy Woodpeckers at the Feeder

This week, a pair of Downy Woodpeckers has been frequenting our feeder station. I wonder if they are nesting near by.  The first picture is the male, the second is the female. Seeing these caused us to do a bit of research on how to distinguish Downy and Hairy woodpeckers as they look very similar.  The key difference seems to be the size of the bill relative to the head. To me, however, the bills in our pictures look somewhere between the description of the Downy and Hairy. In the end, we measured the feeder to estimate that these birds are only between 6" and 7" long which rules out the Hairy.

Update 2014-03-04 - After an icy night, a Downy Woodpecker and Carolina Wren on the suet feeders. The male Downy showed up just after this female left. I never see the pair at the feeder at the same time.

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