Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens) - wiki
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
[Photo] A male Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens). Photo taken with a Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ50 in Johnston County, North Carolina, USA. Source http://www.kenthomas.us Date 4:42PM 14JAN07. Author Ken Thomas http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Ken_Thomas
The Downy Woodpecker, Picoides pubescens, is the smallest woodpecker in North America. Adults are mainly black on the upper parts and wings, with a white back, throat and belly and white spotting on the wings. There is a white bar above and below the eye. They have a black tail with white outer feathers barred with black. Adult males have a red patch on the back of the head.
It is virtually identical in plumage pattern to the much larger Hairy Woodpecker. These species are not closely related at all, and they will certainly soon be separated in different genera (Weibel & Moore, 2005; Moore et al., 2006); the outward similarity is a spectacular example of convergent evolution. Why this is so cannot be explained with confidence; it certainly is interesting to note that the species exploit rather differently-sized foodstuffs and generally do not compete very much ecologically.
Their breeding habitat is forested areas, mainly deciduous, across most of North America to Central America. They nest in a tree cavity, excavated by the nesting pair in a dead tree or limb. The Downy Woodpecker can also be found east of Newfoundland and Labrador, on the islands of Saint-Pierre and Miquelon.
These birds are mostly permanent residents. Northern birds may migrate further south; birds in mountainous areas may move to lower elevations. Downy Woodpeckers roost in tree cavities in the winter.
Downy Woodpeckers forage on trees, picking the bark surface in summer and digging deeper in winter. They mainly eat insects, also seeds and berries. In winter, especially, Downy Woodpeckers can often be found in treed suburban backyards and will feed on suet at birdfeeders.
|The text in this page is based on the copyrighted Wikipedia article shown in above URL. It is used under the GNU Free Documentation License. You may redistribute it, verbatim or modified, providing that you comply with the terms of the GFDL.|