Saturday, April 24, 2010
Downy Woodpecker In Bare Trees
But wait! What was it that confused me? Well, while checking a couple of bird guides, I found out that this downy woodpecker bears a striking resemblance to another woodpecker, the hairy woodpecker. Even though I never try to tell anyone that I'm a nature expert, I still don't like to be wrong about what I tell you. So I decided to wait to show you these pictures.
And how do I know the difference between the two now? After a lot of searching around I found out that, for one, the hairy woodpecker is quite a bit bigger than the sparrow sized downy woodpecker. The bird here is the size of a sparrow, a small bird. Also, this bird has the shorter beak of a downy woodpecker. A hairy woodpecker has a much longer beak. That's the real giveaway.
The tree you see in the pictures is most likely much greener right now, so the birds have more places to hide today. I honestly hope my little theory doesn't prove to be absolutely true though, and so far it isn't. I'm still getting some excellent bird pictures, but since I don't just focus on birds here, I try not to overwhelm everyone with them. Plus I want to try to make sure I identify them right, like I did with this one.
One more thing I haven't shared with you yet about this little guy. Yes, I said guy! This woodpecker is definitely a male bird. How do I know? You can't check a bird in the same way you might with a dog. All you have to do with a dog is look underneath at the tail end. Oddly, it's the other end you check with downy woodpeckers.
And so ends my little lesson on downy woodpeckers. It's not at all complete, but it can give you a good start. It's probably impossible to give an adequate lesson on any animal in just one blog post, but you can do a web search to find out all you need. There are many good web nature guides out there.
See ya next time!