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Home Backyard Bird Guide America's Top Backyard Birds America's Top Backyard Birds - Eastern North America Downy Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker

Bird Food Preferences

Black-oil sunflower, striped sunflower, suet, sunflower hearts, and whole peanuts

Bird Feeder Preferences

Tube, hopper, platform, peanut, and suet

Bird House Specifications

Downy Woodpeckers use nest boxes.  Check out the Bird House Dimensions page to learn how to build a bird house specifically for Downy Woodpeckers.

Plants to Attract

Woody Plants: Mulberry

Description

Downy Woodpeckers are found throughout most of the United States and Canada in wooded habitat especially deciduous woods.  They are also common in orchards, parks, and suburbs.  During winter, Downy Woodpeckers may be seen in flocks of with other species.

Downy Woodpeckers are six inches in length and weigh about one ounce.  Downy Woodpeckers have black and white wings with white underparts.  They have white patches on their backs and males have red patches on their heads.  The Downy Woodpecker and the Hairy Woodpecker are very similar in appearance.  However, the Downy Woodpecker is overall smaller.

The male and female Downy Woodpeckers create the nest cavity in dead deciduous trees that are about seven inches in diameter.  The cavity is 6 to 12 inches deep with an entrance hole of one inch.  The cavity is lined with wood chips.

Similar Species

Hairy Woodpecker, Ladder-backed Woodpecker, Nuttall’s Woodpecker, and Red-cockaded Woodpecker

 

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