Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens)

Order: Piciformes
Family: Picidae
Genus: Picoides
Species: pubescens


This bird has been reportedly found in the following regions:

Fairhope, Alabama
, British Columbia
San Anselmo, California
Solvang, California
Aurora, Colorado
North Haven, Connecticut
Sandy Hook, Connecticut
Daytona Beach, Florida
Jacksonville, Florida
Lecanto, Florida
Melbourne, Florida
New Smyrna Beach, Florida
Santa Rosa Beach, Florida
Trenton, Florida
Winter Springs, Florida
Byron, Georgia
Calhoun, Georgia
Dacula, Georgia
Dallas, Georgia
Montpelier, Idaho
Algonquin, Illinois
Cherry Valley, Illinois
Grayslake, Illinois
Rock Falls, Illinois
Springfield, Illinois
Westchester, Illinois
Corunna, Indiana
Fishers, Indiana
Plainfield, Indiana
Yale, Iowa
Oskaloosa, Kansas
Hebron, Kentucky
Melbourne, Kentucky
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Pownal, Maine
Clinton, Maryland
Hanover, Maryland
Linthicum Heights, Maryland
Oakland, Maryland
North Attleboro, Massachusetts
Bear Lake, Michigan
Chesaning, Michigan
Constantine, Michigan
Dearborn, Michigan
Dearborn Heights, Michigan
Detroit, Michigan
Mount Clemens, Michigan
Onekama, Michigan
Royal Oak, Michigan
Traverse City, Michigan
Albertville, Minnesota
Hamel, Minnesota
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Bolivar, Missouri
Cole Camp, Missouri
Conway, Missouri
Joplin, Missouri
Saint Louis, Missouri
Saint Robert, Missouri
Warner, New Hampshire
Beachwood, New Jersey
Marlton, New Jersey
Sparta, New Jersey
Wenonah, New Jersey
Woodstown, New Jersey
Amityville, New York
Himrod, New York
Yonkers, New York
Cary, North Carolina
Raleigh, North Carolina
Winston Salem, North Carolina
Belfield, North Dakota
Medora, North Dakota
Chillicothe, Ohio
Columbiana, Ohio
Columbus, Ohio (2 reports)
Corning, Ohio
Haskins, Ohio
Hilliard, Ohio
Lebanon, Ohio
Logan, Ohio
Williamsburg, Ohio
Molalla, Oregon
Meshoppen, Pennsylvania
Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania
Lancaster, South Carolina
Pawleys Island, South Carolina
Summerville, South Carolina
Clarksville, Tennessee
Summertown, Tennessee
Austin, Texas
Copperas Cove, Texas
Crosby, Texas
Euless, Texas
Fort Worth, Texas (2 reports)
Friendswood, Texas
Magnolia, Texas
Spring, Texas
Magna, Utah
Salt Lake City, Utah
Essex Junction, Vermont
Newbury, Vermont
Appleton, Wisconsin
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Members' Notes:


On Jul 12, 2021, elangston from Pawleys Island, SC wrote:

We have a pair of Downy woodpeckers that have been in our yard for quite a few years. They are fun to watch and we always make sure they have suet feeders handy. I would love to see the babies but never have to my knowledge. One of my favorite birds! We live in Litchfield, Pawleys Island, SC.


On May 27, 2016, BtrflyEmporium from Mount Clemens, MI (Zone 6b) wrote:

I adore these birds. They happily live in my garden / yard and surrounding area.


On Jan 28, 2012, Cville_Gardener from Clarksville, TN (Zone 6b) wrote:

Besides being useful for removing insects from tree bark, these birds are a joy to watch. They love the suet feeders and frequent them all winter.


On Aug 23, 2011, hydey6 from Corunna, IN wrote:

I've never had any problems with this bird. I put out woodpecker bars and that is all they go after. They sometimes peck at the peanuts in the peanut ring for the blue jays and a blue jay will land on top of the hook and stare at him, waiting for him to leave, which is rather comical.


On Jul 24, 2010, pdools_NJ from Sparta, NJ (Zone 6a) wrote:

I love to have any and all birds in my Northern NJ backyard, but I'm thinking twice about my downy woodpeckers. They love the necter in my hummingbird feeders and can drain one in two days. I don't mind refilling the feeders, but I can't believe this much sugar is healthy for their diet.
In his spare time, one of the larger males has taken up pecking a hole in my shed. I'm going to try a suet feeder to try and allure them to something better for their diet (and my shed). I stopped putting out my wren house, because I heard they break other birds' eggs- hence my new neighbors.
Just goes to show you, we are all part of nature and not bigger than it. A solution for one problem opens the door to a new one- you just need to leave it all alone and let nature run it's c... read more


On Apr 8, 2010, bungalow1056 from Winston-Salem, NC (Zone 7b) wrote:

These woodpeckers are a hoot. The enjoy giving me a start by banging on my home's aluminum siding to claim their territory during the Spring mating season.


On Sep 13, 2009, plantladylin from (Zone 1) wrote:

The Downy is found throughout Florida, and we had a pair nest in a Camphor Tree in our back yard this year. The female didn't seem to mind my presence if I sat on the bench under the tree, but the male was very vocal if he was nearby and I was anywhere in that area of the yard. He would flit back and forth from one tree to another and really make a racket. I don't know how many babies were hatched but it was fun watching the parents going to and from the nest hole to feed them. The adult would fly down to one of the suet feeders and back to the nest with the babies chirping loudly.

My book on Florida birds says the Downy's diet consists of beetles, cockroaches, ants and other insects and that vegetable matter make up a small portion of the food intake.


On Jan 13, 2009, Malus2006 from Coon Rapids, MN (Zone 4a) wrote:

One of the most common woodpecker in the Twin Cities, they will nest even in telephone poles. They are small compare to other woodpeckers, being rather larger than a sparrow but smaller than a dove. They will regularly visits feeder if they can handle the perching but will loves to come to suet feeders all year round.


On Jan 11, 2009, Grasmussen from Anchorage, AK (Zone 4a) wrote:

Only the males have a bright red patch on the back of the head.