Downy Woodpecker Information
Length: 5.8 - 6.5"
Habitat: Deciduous and mixed woodlands (favors bottomlands), forest edges, farmyards, orchards, parks, residential areas.
Diet: Mostly insects, including beetles and their larvae, wood-boring ants, caterpillars, and scale insects; spiders; some seeds and berries.
Calls & drumming of Downy Woodpecker
Preferred Bird Feeder Food
Like many woodpeckers, the downy woodpecker prefers suet, but will also eat black oil sunflower seeds, hulled sunflower seeds, peanut hearts, and chunky peanut butter.
Suet should be offered in a suet cage. A platform feeder is ideal for the other seeds and peanut hearts. Peanut butter can be spread on pine cones or suet logs and hung near the feeder.
Habitat, diet, feeding behavior, nesting, migration, and conservation status of this bird. Includes range map, photos, and songs and calls. (From Audubon Field Guide)
Female Downy Woodpecker
Credit: Ken Thomas
Male Downy Woodpecker
Photo © Mike Danzenbaker
- Very small black and white woodpecker
- Very short bill
- Mostly black head set off by broad white supercilium and lower border to auriculars
- Black nape
- White back
- Black wings with white spotting on coverts and flight feathers
- White underparts
- Black rump
- Black tail with white outer tail feathers barred with black
(Credit: U. S. Geological Survey)
Breeding Bird Survey Map,
(Image credit: USGS)
Range in New England
The Downy Woodpecker is found year-round in the New England region.
Range Maps from Cornell
Includes separate map of sightings.
Christmas Bird Count Map
Historical CBC Map from USGS