Downy Woodpecker: The smallest woodpecker in North America. Has a white back, black nape and black wings with white spotting. Underparts are white. Face is white with black stripes. Hindcrown patch is red. Tail is black with black-spotted or barred white outer tail feathers. Bill is black and short.
Range and Habitat
Downy Woodpecker: Resident from Alaska across Canada and south throughout the U.S. except in the southwest. Preferred habitats include woodlands, parks, and gardens.
The Downy Woodpecker has a large range, estimated globally at 13,000,000 square kilometers. It is native to Canada, the United States and Saint Pierre and Miquelon. This bird prefers forest ecosystems that are boreal, temperate, subtropical, or tropical, though it has been known to reside in rural and urban areas. The global population of this bird is estimated at 13,000,000 individuals and it does not appear to meet population size or decline criteria that would necessitate inclusion on the IUCN Red List. The current evaluation status of the Downy Woodpecker is Least Concern.
As the smallest North American woodpecker, the Downy can drill cavities in dead trees or limbs that measure as little as 10 cm around. This means that it can live in a wider range of habitat than can larger woodpeckers.
Males tend to feed in the tops of trees on branches that are small in diameter, females feed midlevel and lower on larger diameter branches.
The Downy Woodpecker uses sources of food that larger woodpeckers cannot, such as the insect fauna on weed stems.
A group of woodpeckers has many collective nouns, including a "descent", "drumming", and "gatling" of woodpeckers.