Female Downy Woodpecker


Our woods are alive with so many colorful birds, but my eye was drawn to two different woodpeckers foraging for their dinner.

Female Downy Woodpecker

The Downy Woodpecker is common to our forests, but can be hard to spot. The males have a bright red splash of color on the top of their head, but the females, like the one pictured, lack the red coloring. At first glance, the black and white pattern may appear to be a bright and obvious, but notice the impact when you see the bird among the bark:

Female Downy Woodpeckers Camouflage with tree bark

The Red-bellied Woodpecker has a bright red plume covering the bulk of its cap and nape, much more red than the male Downy Woodpecker. The Red-bellied Woodpecker does have a similar black and white pattern in its feathers for the same camouflage.

Red-Bellied Woodpecker


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  1. Jane on July 11, 2016 at 2:19 pm

    We have the same woodpeckers in Michigan. I love to watch all the birds. I love to see the different kind of birds for the different seasons. I love all your pictures and posts. Thank you for sharing with us.

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