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Downy Woodpecker

Downy Woodpecker
Photo Information
Copyright: Richard Vincent (earthtraveler) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 427 W: 123 N: 947] (3483)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2007-08-27
Categories: Birds
Camera: Panasonic DMC-FZ50
Exposure: f/3.7, 1/80 seconds
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2007-08-28 5:04
Viewed: 3961
Points: 40
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Downy Woodpecker
Picoides pubescens

The smallest and most common American woodpecker, the Downy Woodpecker is found throughout most of North America from Alaska to Florida. It lives in a variety of habitats from wilderness forests to urban backyards, and comes readily to bird feeders.

• Small woodpecker.
• Black and white plumage.
• Plain white back.
• Small, pointed bill.
• Size: 14-17 cm (6-7 in)
• Wingspan: 25-30 cm (10-12 in)
• Weight: 21-28 g (0.74-0.99 ounces)

Sex Differences
Male with red patch on back of head, female with black patch.

Call note a sharp "pik." Also a harsh rattle or whinny.

Conservation Status
Widespread and abundant. May be slightly increasing in some areas.

Other Names
Pic mineur (French)

Cool Facts
• The Downy Woodpecker is a frequent member of mixed species flocks in winter. The woodpecker is less vigilant looking for predators and more successful at foraging when in such a flock. It will readily join chickadees or other birds mobbing a predator, but it remains quiet and does not actually join in the mobbing.
• Male and female Downy Woodpeckers may stay in the same areas in winter, but they divide up where they look for food. The male feeds more on small branches and weed stems, and the female feeds more on large branches and the trunks of trees. Males appear to keep the females from foraging in the more productive spots. When the male is removed from a woodlot, the female shifts her foraging to the smaller branches.
• The Downy Woodpecker uses sources of food that larger woodpeckers cannot, such as the insect fauna of weed stems. It will cling to goldenrod galls to extract the gall fly larvae. The woodpecker prefers larger galls, and uses the exit tube constructed by the larva to extract it.
• The Downy Woodpecker varies gradually across its range. Larger birds are found in the north and at higher elevations, while smaller birds live in the south and at lower elevations. Western woodpeckers tend to have less white in the wings and less black on the outer tail feathers.

Source: Cornell Lab of Ornithology
All About Birds website

Aperture Priority
ISO 200
F-Stop 3.7
Exp. 1/80th sec.
Lens 420mm equivalent

Thank you for taking a look and for all you who may share your thoughts - I appreciate it.


Kathleen, PaulH, eqshannon, Alex99, Necipp, MMM, vanderschelden, Patleboss, gannu, bobair, Silke has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To Silke: Our fall Colorsearthtraveler 1 08-30 15:04
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Critiques [Translate]

Hi Richard.
Wow, great image. Slightly soft but that may be due to hand-holding. Wonderful composition, detail and colour, the DOF is perfect to make the woodpecker and branch really stand out.


hello richard,
fine capture of the woodpecker, looks like the bird is in deep thoughts, liked the pov and the composition very much, nice colours, the details on the bark looks very nice,
well done,
tfs & regards

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2007-08-28 6:36]

Hello Richard,
Nice capture of the Downy Woodpecker. Excellent composition, lighting and natural blurred BG, the colours of which add nice contrast to the B&W bird. Though slightly soft, this is a very pleasing image.

  • Great 
  • PaulH Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1137 W: 26 N: 3879] (13882)
  • [2007-08-28 6:43]

Hi Richard,
excellent composition and DOF, the colours of both bird and tree are nicely saturated. Very well done.

Super picture so crisp, clear and subjected to your discerning eye. It is some of the most pleasing to see. Super nicely portraited.


Hello Richard,
Nice shot of the Downy Woodpecker.

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2007-08-28 8:48]

Hello Richard,
What a beauty. Excellent light, POV, BG and composition. Great colours and sharpness.

  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2007-08-28 9:16]

Hi Richard.
You have created an amazing picture. Its composition and scene are excellent. Well balanced diagonal structure of the image, nice bright colours, perfect sharpness of the bird and trunk and beautiful smooth BG is not full list of virtues of your nice picture. Best wishes and TFS.

  • Great 
  • Mana Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1772 W: 36 N: 5597] (18598)
  • [2007-08-28 9:38]

Hi Richard,
Splendid shot of this woodpecker with sharp details on its plumage and great exposure. The textures on the bird as well as on the wood is fabulous and neat. A precise DOF lets the subjects stand out perfectly here. Excellent POV to portray it and very nicely composed. Kudos.

Hello Richard this is a great catch with good closeup detail and fine pose. nice catchlight. tfs rgds Necip.

  • Great 
  • MMM Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1114 W: 0 N: 2546] (11425)
  • [2007-08-28 11:27]

Hi Richard
Nice capture.Very clear image with nice details and colors.POV and DOF are excellent
TFS Michel

Hello Richard,
Beautiful bird. Well composed. Good POV.

Bonjour Richard, encore une très belle photo, on dirait que ce pic pose rien que poour vous, très belle composition, couleurs éclatantes et joli backround,

  • Great 
  • gannu Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 988 W: 4 N: 3277] (14761)
  • [2007-08-29 4:36]

Richard the shot is wonderful. The color of the bird and the pose it is in. Second the BG is beautiful and also the note. Thanks for sharing. Ganesh

  • Great 
  • Debz Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 505 W: 0 N: 847] (3307)
  • [2007-08-29 4:48]

Hi Richard, beautifully clean and sharp shot of this Woodpecker. Detail in feathers is perfect and not too hard. Great pose and pov from you. Great depth of colour and tones, natural colours. Great compositon.

Hi Richard, splendid bird in great pose, wonderful details and great sharpness, very well done, ciao Silvio

Hi Richard,
I like this little woodpecker,she looks just great with good colour and details.I like these birds and where I live-I see them all of the time along with the hairy woodpeckers and flickers.The included note is an excellent read and I like it.Tfs. Bob

Hi Richard,
I think I prefer this version to the second one you posted today. This one is a bit sharper and the colors feel more true to me. I love the diagonal branch and the gorgeous background.

Evelynn : )

  • Great 
  • EOSF1 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1393 W: 119 N: 5267] (23955)
  • [2007-08-31 10:03]

Hello Richard, excellent bird shot ! Great composition, good pose of the bird, great background and lovely colors and sharpness. Thanks !


  • Great 
  • Silke Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 729 W: 98 N: 1707] (5458)
  • [2007-09-01 3:07]
  • [+]

This one is really FAB!
I love the PoV and comp and the details are spotless
(No need to apologize re: the Shannon posting. I should have been more clear)

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