Friday, July 18, 2008

Juvenile Downy Woodpecker at Charles River

It was toward the end of my walk home yesterday that I heard this little guy and stopped to get some close-ups. This juvenile downy woodpecker (note the red on its crown) was pecking away on what appeared to be a sapling, or just a very small tree. I was surprised by that, but there must have been something inside it was trying to get at!

Look at the red on its chest- is that coloring normal? I didn't see any mention of it in my guidebooks. I thought it just bumped into something messy like fruit on a tree.

Note the black bars on the outer tail feathers. This is one of the ways to distinguish a Downy Woodpecker from a Hairy Woodpecker, yet apparently some Hairy Woodpeckers do show this. In which case the Downy's smaller size would be the giveaway.

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