The Downy Woodpecker is the smallest of the seven kinds of woodpeckers that have come to my back yard here on the beautiful Cumberland Plateau in Tennessee. The Downy Woodpecker males are black white and have a tiny patch of red on the crown of their heads. The female does not have that crown but looks the same as the male. Both have a barred or checkerboard-like black and white pattern on their wings and back. Their chest and throat is white. They have a slender long bill that they use to drill into tree trunks and bark in order to find insects. They also use that bill to peck into trees to create holes or enlarge existing holes. They make their home in those cavities in the trees.
They also drill holes in trees in order to stash food for the winter. A convenient pantry. The Downy Woodpeckers are primarily insect-eating birds. They come to my suet feeder to get quick snacks at times, but they do like to hunt among the Oaks and Hickory trees for insects on their own. They seem to be patient, agreeable and intelligent little birds. I enjoy seeing them here. I took these pictures from my deck on various dates in July 2011. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture. Enjoy!