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Old 01-14-2018, 11:52 AM
 
Location: Nantahala National Forest, NC
27,091 posts, read 6,884,296 times
Reputation: 30347

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This little woodpecker is one cute bird. Saw one today, just pecking into trees, going around and around the tree, searching for bugs. The black and white and touch of red is striking. No other woodies seen, but did hear a Pileated, a Red-bellied...

The "Holiness of Woodpeckers" is my favorite name for a group of birds. Seems appropriate, somehow...
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Old 01-14-2018, 04:57 PM
 
4,702 posts, read 2,533,140 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greatblueheron View Post
This little woodpecker is one cute bird. Saw one today, just pecking into trees, going around and around the tree, searching for bugs. The black and white and touch of red is striking. No other woodies seen, but did hear a Pileated, a Red-bellied...

The "Holiness of Woodpeckers" is my favorite name for a group of birds. Seems appropriate, somehow...
I had never heard of this group name! Lovely!
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Old 01-14-2018, 04:58 PM
 
4,702 posts, read 2,533,140 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greatblueheron View Post
This little woodpecker is one cute bird. Saw one today, just pecking into trees, going around and around the tree, searching for bugs. The black and white and touch of red is striking. No other woodies seen, but did hear a Pileated, a Red-bellied...

The "Holiness of Woodpeckers" is my favorite name for a group of birds. Seems appropriate, somehow...
Oh! Does this refer to the ‘holes’ they create?! LOL.
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Old 01-15-2018, 10:49 AM
 
Location: Nantahala National Forest, NC
27,091 posts, read 6,884,296 times
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Good one, tangelag...

But I'll stick with a "holiness of woodpeckers" as a group of special, special birds...


Quote:
Originally Posted by tangelag View Post
Oh! Does this refer to the ‘holes’ they create?! LOL.
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Old 01-17-2018, 08:58 AM
 
Location: Boonies of N. Alabama
3,024 posts, read 2,602,554 times
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I've a few Downy's around... they occasionally come to the suet I have out. There is a Pileated somewhere close to my bedroom and every. single. morning. for the past 3 weeks he/she is hammering a tree nearby. If you've ever heard one doing that you know how loud that is (sounds like a jackhammer) and he seems to be the first one up in the morning. Supposedly in late winter they start 'drumming' to solidify their territory and/or summon females (although it's not nesting season yet). I will be glad when he's done and I can get some sleep!
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Old 01-17-2018, 02:55 PM
 
875 posts, read 1,266,928 times
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Cool fact about downy woodpeckers: many migratory birds have a habitat partitioning between the males and females. The males will tend to claim territory further north (closer to the breeding grounds) and this will force the females to fly further south. If you've ever seen photos of male and female juncos, and you live in the Northeast, you will probably notice that most of those seen are male. If you live in the south, most are female.

The downies do something different. Downy woodpeckers aren't long-distance migrants. Instead, downy woodpeckers join mixed flocks of other winter resident birds (chickadees, titmice, nuthatches, etc.). They follow the flocks to different feeding areas, and the chickadees and titmice in the flock act as sentinels and will call out when they see a predator (and the whole flock will move or take cover). Downies also partition feeding areas between males and females. The best food for downies is on the ends of branches, where the less favorable is on the trunk. If you see both a male and female downy in the flock, it's very likely that the female (no red on head) will be relegated to the trunk while the male (red on head) feeds on the branches and branch ends. If a female is seen on the branches, it's likely that there is no male nearby.
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Old 01-17-2018, 02:59 PM
 
Location: Nantahala National Forest, NC
27,091 posts, read 6,884,296 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by writerwife View Post
I've a few Downy's around... they occasionally come to the suet I have out. There is a Pileated somewhere close to my bedroom and every. single. morning. for the past 3 weeks he/she is hammering a tree nearby. If you've ever heard one doing that you know how loud that is (sounds like a jackhammer) and he seems to be the first one up in the morning. Supposedly in late winter they start 'drumming' to solidify their territory and/or summon females (although it's not nesting season yet). I will be glad when he's done and I can get some sleep!

They can be LOUD!
Lucky you to have them...
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Old 01-17-2018, 03:02 PM
 
Location: Nantahala National Forest, NC
27,091 posts, read 6,884,296 times
Reputation: 30347
Quote:
Originally Posted by NJmmadude View Post
Cool fact about downy woodpeckers: many migratory birds have a habitat partitioning between the males and females. The males will tend to claim territory further north (closer to the breeding grounds) and this will force the females to fly further south. If you've ever seen photos of male and female juncos, and you live in the Northeast, you will probably notice that most of those seen are male. If you live in the south, most are female.

The downies do something different. Downy woodpeckers aren't long-distance migrants. Instead, downy woodpeckers join mixed flocks of other winter resident birds (chickadees, titmice, nuthatches, etc.). They follow the flocks to different feeding areas, and the chickadees and titmice in the flock act as sentinels and will call out when they see a predator (and the whole flock will move or take cover). Downies also partition feeding areas between males and females. The best food for downies is on the ends of branches, where the less favorable is on the trunk. If you see both a male and female downy in the flock, it's very likely that the female (no red on head) will be relegated to the trunk while the male (red on head) feeds on the branches and branch ends. If a female is seen on the branches, it's likely that there is no male nearby.

Habitat partitioning, very interesting
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Old 01-17-2018, 05:27 PM
 
Location: Boonies of N. Alabama
3,024 posts, read 2,602,554 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greatblueheron View Post
They can be LOUD!
Lucky you to have them...
Definitely loud.
I like hearing their calls... sounds like a jungle when they do that. And I don't even mind the hammering AFTER I'm up for the day!
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Old 01-21-2018, 12:11 PM
 
3,026 posts, read 1,838,238 times
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We're up north in NH, and have regular downy and hairy visitors, sometimes one on each side of a piece of suet. A red bellied (what a name for a bird with a red head!) male is a regular too.
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