Tiny woodpecker, common and widespread across much of North America. Black-and-white plumage is nearly identical to the larger Hairy Woodpecker. Focus on the bill: Downy has a very short bill, much shorter than the length of the head. Also note the small black markings on the white outer tail feathers. Pacific population has smaller white spots on the wing and a grayer body than Eastern birds. Occurs in any wooded habitat, though western birds are more restricted to riparian areas. Often forages on smaller branches than Hairy Woodpecker. Familiar visitor to backyard feeders, especially fond of suet. Calls include a soft “pik!” and descending rattle, weaker than Hairy Woodpecker.
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