Downy Woodpecker

Thank you for visiting Farmhouse Stories over the past year, and for your thoughtful and kind comments and shout outs. WordPress sent a year-end stats report and it was interesting to see the search terms that brought people here – everything from the blog’s name to the popular, “beetle bugs insects” (which sadly are hard to find this time of year) and “why are there yellow butterflies everywhere.”

Please correct me if I’m wrong, but I think this is a male Downy Woodpecker (as opposed to a Hairy Woodpecker) because of the length of its bill and there are some black bars on the outer white tail feathers (for comparison, visit here1). I’m still waiting to hear back from my mother, the family bird expert on things such as this! He frequents the suet feeder at our house and allowed me to come within about 15 feet before flying away.

Best wishes for the New Year everyone!

“Live in each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit.” – Henry David Thoreau


1. Cornell Lab of Ornithology and Bird Studies Canada. Tricky Bird IDs: Downy Woodpecker and Hairy Woodpecker, Project FeederWatch:

Note: The owners of referenced or linked-to materials do not endorse me or this site.


20 Responses to “Downy Woodpecker”
  1. montucky says:

    I also think that’s a Downey. Outstanding shots of him too! I have enjoyed your blog very much this year and wish you all of the best for the coming year!

  2. donald says:

    i would have to agree with thoreau, that each season is special in its own way!

    thanks for a year of wonderful looks into the flora and fauna world! i look forward to another year of seeing the world through your camera lens!

  3. Lisa says:

    I loved reading the wordpress stats for what search terms people use to find my blog. sometimes it’s hilarious, others I’m like, who is out there in the Internet world?

    Gorgeous shot of the bird. What a lovely creature to find in the morning!

  4. missusk76 says:

    Woodpeckers must be a confident lot. I think I’ve gotten closer to them than any other bird but never have I achieved such wonderful photographs of them. I am especially drawn to the last one: detail, light, colour, composition – all very appealing.

    As to the Thoreau quote – for possibly the first time, I find myself hesitant to totally agree with him. Tasting the fruit at this time of year could break your teeth. groan Sorry. 🙂

    • lol, break your teeth indeed! 🙂
      Very true, woodpeckers do seem to stay around a lot longer than the others. Thanks so much for your kind encouragement. I’ve really enjoyed your site this year, and your stunning photos of the Alberta wilderness.

  5. Great photos, Cait! I love the catchlight in his eye and the feather detail in the third photo. I love the quote too!

  6. sandy says:

    I got one of those year end reports, too.
    You do have an excellent blog name, for sure.
    Bugs are nice, but I like what you post the rest of the year, as well.

  7. Indeed a hairy woodpecker for exactly the reasons you give, Cait. And a delightful image of such an elegant bird clinging to the crumbling pyramid of suet. It’s been a real pleasure exploring the intimacies of the farmhouse world these past months, as I have a feeling it has been for you as well! It certainly shows; beautiful work and I’m looking forward to further excursions.

  8. I’ve really appreciated your visits and thoughtful comments over the months, Julian, thank you. Yes, it has been a great experience sharing the farmhouse world, and also exploring the worlds of the interesting people who stop by. Look forward to more of your beautiful stories and images from Greece in the year to come!

  9. Christina Cronk says:

    Beautiful! I’ve always wanted a birdfeeder in my yard but they never last long with our squirrel population… I tried a hummingbird feeder instead but none ever came.

  10. Again such wonderful photographs!

    I am thinking of installing some kind of bird feeder in our garden, so that the birds stay in one place for long enough for me to take a good photo!

  11. Barbara says:

    Thank you, Cait, for sharing the wildlife on your farm through the seasons. You make each season come alive! The shots of the woodpecker are amazing – we have a lot of them here and each time one appears at the feeder there is much discussion about which kind it is, and if it is a male or a female. Love the Thoreau quote, he was a wise observer. Thanks for all your posts that reconnect me with my love of the natural world, and are even starting to get me a little bit used to spiders. (Just a little..)

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