Birds of St. Charles County, MO
Downy Woodpecker

Downy Woodpecker
Picoides pubescens

Size: 6"

Male: (Shown) A small black and white woodpecker with an all-white belly, black and white spotted wings, a black line running through the eyes, a short black bill, a white stripe down the back, and a red mark on the back of the head. Several small black spots along the sides of white tail.

Female: Same as male, but lacks red mark on head.

Juvenile: Same as female, although some have a slight red mark near the forehead.

Nest: Female and male excavate a cavity. One brood per year.

Eggs: 3-5; white without markings

Incubation: 11-12 days; female and male incubate, the female during the day and the male at night

Fledging: 20-25 days; male and female feed young

Migration: The Downy Woodpecker can be found in St. Charles County year round.

Food: Insects, seeds, shelled peanuts, and will come to seed and suet feeders.

Fact: When eating shelled nuts, the Downy Woodpecker will find a nook in the surrounding area, such as a knothole on a deck railing, or between wooden slats, and place the peanut inside of it to keep it from rolling away.

Compare: Similar to the Hairy Woodpecker, but smaller. Also look for the Downy's shorter, thinner bill to differentiate the two.

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