Sunday, April 17, 2016

Looking Out the Window: The Downy Woodpecker

Looking out the window today, there was a female Downy Woodpecker feeding on a fruit berry nut and seed bell. 

The Downy woodpecker has a checkered black and white appearance.  

The Downy's beak is considered small and is about one third of the length of the rest of the head. 

In addition to identifying the Downy by its shorter beak, the tail feathers are another way. The Downy's outer tail feathers are patterned with black and white. Take a look at the tail feathers in the collage below and you can see the outer tail feathers are black and white (giving a checkered appearance).

You can really get a good look at the tail feathers in the next collage. 

The Downy head is boldly striped, and the back has a wide white stripe down the center as read here

I was so excited the very next morning, a male downy came to visit. You can see in the collage below, the male downy has a red patch on the back of his head and the female does not. I took a lot of pictures but was not able to capture his tail feathers. 

While I was taking pictures of the male downy, a male cardinal dropped in.  The cardinal sat on a branch but I could tell he was wanting a bite of the fruit berry nut and seed bell. That didn't go over well with the downy and the cardinal was quickly given the boot. 

Note that the red patch on the back of the male downy's head is a solid red patch. I love the first picture in the collage below. He held this position with his head back for a few seconds and I was able to take five shots before he moved. 

I wish I had pictures of the Hairy Woodpecker so we could look at differences between the Hairy and the Downy. Maybe one day I will have the opportunity to photograph the Hairy. Here are a couple of links if you want to check out the distinguishing features of the Hairy and the Downey. It's very helpful. Here and here

For now, I am very pleased to capture images of the Downy male and female woodpeckers. 

Thanks for stopping by for another day of Life in Kentucky - Judy. 

Linking to:

Amaze Me Monday @ Dwellings
Met Monday @ Between Naps on the Porch
Mosaic Monday @ Lavender Cottage
Show and Share @ Coastal Charm
Nature Notes @ Rambling Woods on Monday

Our World @ Our World Tuesday Meme
Inspire Me Tuesday @ A Stroll Thru Life on Tuesday
The Scoop @ StoneGable Blog
You're Gonna Love It Tuesday @ Kathe With an E

Outdoor Wednesday @ A Southern Daydreamer
Wild Bird Wednesday @ Paying Ready Attention Gallery
Nature Notes @ Rambling Woods
Wow Us Wednesday @ Savvy Southern

Home and Garden Thursday @ A Delightsome Life
Simple & Sweet Fridays @ Rooted in Thyme 
Share Your Cup Thursday @ Have A Cup of Mrs. Olson
Foodie Friday & Everything Else @ Rattlebridge Farm

Photo Friday @ Pierced Wonderings

Saturday's Critters @ Viewing Nature with Eileen


  1. WOW, Judy - you got some incredible shots there! Those are amazing!

    We have an all-cedar house so even reading the words "woodpecker" my palms started to sweat - we are not fans, as they have actually put holes in our house in several places - and it is awfully ugly to try and patch. We have had to get new boards, even - they EAT HOUSES lol! I had no idea until one day I heard that tell-tale rattatattat sounds only they make and when looking around from where the sound came only to find it was the side of our HOUSE.

    Hubs was NOT happy.

    Anyway, long as those beautiful birds stay near you I will love them vicariously through you then. Hugs. Hope all is well and you are enjoying your perfect new home and that amazing kitchen! HUGS! ♥♥♥

  2. Hi Judy, Wow, what great photographs of this fellow. I think he is very beautiful in his black and white coat. Thanks for sharing the beautiful pics. very interesting.
    Enjoy your week……….

  3. What pretty birds and you really did get some wonderful pictures! I have never seen a Downy Woodpecker before.

  4. Judy, Great bird photos. I'm envious. I did see a few new bird feeders on my walk this morning so I may be able to snap a few pics by lurking around the feeders. Sylvia D.

  5. Hello, I love the wodpeckers! They are one of my favorite feeder birds. You have some awesome photos of the male and female. Great post. Happy Monday, enjoy your new week ahead!

  6. I love the Downys that visit our suet feeder....they are sure lucky to have you feeding them!

    and LivingFromHappiness

  7. Holy Cow..what great photos of beautiful feathered friends...I just love the woodpecker..i've never known of the black and white ones. so pretty

  8. Judy ~ these are magnificent macro shots of the downy woodpecker and other 'feathered friends' ~

    Happy Week to you ~ ^_^

  9. Great little woodpeckers and beautiful photos.

  10. Beautiful comparative photos and close-ups!
    Have a Happy Day!
    Peace :)

  11. Very interesting text and great photos.

  12. Great photos of the beautiful woodpecker!

  13. You did a super job capturing this woodpecker doing his thing.

  14. So beautiful! I love to watch birds...

  15. Wonderful series of photos and info on the downy. I get both downy and hairy here, but the hairy are even more shy than the downy.. Michelle

  16. We have the Downy too, just saw one this morning. Your photographs are amazing.

  17. Judy,
    Gorgeous photos of your bird watching ,dear friend!
    Thank you for sharing!

  18. They are very cute, they come visit the suet feeder on the porch in W.V. often.


  19. Great photos of the Woodpeckers. Their feather patterns are so beautiful. We don't have Woodpeckers lie that here in Australia.
    I can really relate to the first comment above. I lived in Canada for a while many years ago and we had a house covered with beautiful cedar boards. The woodpeckers loved it too and caused us lots of problems!

  20. It's wonderful to know that a day in Kentucky is the same as one in Ontario. I never tire of watching the woodpeckers at the peanut feeder outside our big kitchen window and the cardinals have figured out how to get peanuts too.

  21. Hi Judy, you took great shots of your woodpecker. I love woodpeckers but haven't seen any for a while. These will definitely tide me over until I do. Love your photos :)

  22. Hi Judy, Enjoyed the great photos of all your wonderful woodpeckers and birds again. We are enjoying mockingbirds and the hummingbirds have returned.
    Thanks for adding me to your sidebar. I have no idea what is going on with the link. It seems to be stuck! At least it takes you to my current post with I click on. Let me know if you figure it out.
    Hope you have a great weekend……..

  23. These little guys are really cute and you have a very nice series of them here! They stay busy all the time this time of year seeking out nesting sites and are really quick in excavating a cavity.

    Thank you for sharing your beautiful birds!

  24. Hello, I enjoyed this post on the Downy Woodpecker. I love all the woodies. Awesome collection of photos. Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Happy Sunday, enjoy your new week ahead!

  25. Love Woodpeckers! Never saw this one before.

  26. What awesome photos your captured.

    Thanks for sharing with SYC.