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Downy Woodpecker

Downy Woodpecker
Photo Information
Copyright: Mario Belanger (EOSF1) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1393 W: 119 N: 5267] (23955)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2007-11-25
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon EOS 40D, Canon EF 100-400 F4-5.6 L IS USM, ISO 400, B+W 77 010 UV-Haze 1 x
Exposure: f/5.6, 1/40 seconds
Details: Tripod: Yes
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Joe's Favourites 1 [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2007-11-27 12:31
Viewed: 3814
Favorites: 3 [view]
Points: 70
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note [French]
Here is a male Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens, 16 cm) on a branch near the feeder.

From: www.birds.cornell.edu

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.

nglen, uleko, lucasgalodoido, Maite, stevkds, writerscrawlz, angela926, Juyona, eqshannon, JoseMiguel, jrobertop, tiklod, marhowie, Evelynn, Jamesp, undoredo, Argus, cataclysta, SelenE, Alex99, pierrefonds has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2007-11-27 12:36]

Hi Mario. You Pictures just seem to get better each time you post one. This is excellent. The detail and rich natural looking colours are first class. A very good natural looking pose on the branch. A very nice POV/DOF. very well done TFS. good notes too.

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2007-11-27 12:41]

Hello Mario,
Wow, this is outstanding!! Excellent focus on this beautiful Woodpecker showing razor-sharp details and fine colours. I like its pose on the tree trunk and the background colour is really nice too. Excellent work!
Many thanks, Ulla

  • Great 
  • rdfoto Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 372 W: 0 N: 719] (3295)
  • [2007-11-27 12:57]

Bonjour Mario
Magnifique ton pic !
Très belle prise, excellente en netteté couleurs et cadrage, très beau sujet.
Amicalement Robi

Hi Mario!
Very interesting image of Woodpecker, the sharpen and quality of image was great!
Congratulations and Hug!

  • Great 
  • Maite Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 998 W: 65 N: 1270] (5199)
  • [2007-11-27 13:17]

What a great photographer of birds you are, dear Mario. I really wonder how you do it and I admire you for it. This Downy Woodpecker is so cute and so well captured!! I love the marvellous composition and the beautiful details of his beautiful plumage. Magnificent bg too and very interesting note.
Thank you very much for sharing.
My best regards

Hi Mario,
very nice picture. Great composition and colour presentation. Very pure and sharp shot. Well done. tfs. Steve

Stunning! Nice precise details without any noise! Excellent pose, contrasting colors, and background. What a terrific shot - such a natural pose in his own environment.

  • Great 
  • Dave Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 503 W: 43 N: 657] (2178)
  • [2007-11-27 13:34]

I came by to peek without signing in. Your shot made me change my mind and sign in. So excellent Mario!
Very beautiful!

I love this photo. everything about it! it's perfect!

Hello Mario,
Very sharp image. Well composed. Excellent background.
Superb portratit of the Downy Woodpecker.

  • Great 
  • Pier Silver Star Critiquer/Silver Note Writer [C: 25 W: 0 N: 37] (808)
  • [2007-11-27 14:12]

Una foto stupenda!
Un saluto Pierdamiano

bonjour Mario
très très nette et joli BG, belle prise

Hi Mario,
Fine shot of this Downy.
Great POV and detail
Another sweet image from a master bird photog.
Well done as always


I really like this image,
It is so crisp and clear,
I like the diagonal of the tree in relation to the woodpecker,
Great job,

Hello Mario,
Bird of rare beauty!
Wonderful coloration, excellent sharpness and splendid details.
Very beautiful and harmonious composition.
Well done!
José Roberto

  • Great 
  • RP1 Gold Star Critiquer [C: 154 W: 1 N: 6] (251)
  • [2007-11-27 17:11]

Superbe photo Mario. Le BG est très beau. Les couleurs et le contraste est excellent. Surement une de tes plus belles photos.
Bravo et Merci,

  • Great 
  • lizzie Gold Star Critiquer [C: 207 W: 0 N: 605] (2855)
  • [2007-11-27 17:32]


Wow excellente photo, très belle composition, beaucoup de détails dans le plumage et cet oeil et cette tête si déterminée à capturer quelque chose, tu as magnifiquement capter ce moment. Félicitations!!


  • Great 
  • tiklod Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 290 W: 74 N: 875] (3397)
  • [2007-11-27 17:38]

Salut Mario,
MAGNIFIQUE!!!!! SUPERBES DÉTAILS. LA LUMIÈRE EST EXCELLENTE... La petite calotte rouge est parfaitement rendue :-)


This is another great contribution to your bird album. There is wonderful sharpness and color against a beautiful defused background.

Evelynn : )

  • Great 
  • demeve Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 586 W: 12 N: 1682] (6165)
  • [2007-11-27 22:00]

Hello Mario,
Today I'm only able to mark your photo
I'm sorry for that, I'll come back later
with a proper critique.. Congratulations
on a fine capture


  • Great 
  • Jamesp Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1369 W: 9 N: 6334] (18906)
  • [2007-11-27 23:52]

Hi Mario

Wonderful shot - great detail and OFF BG. Excellent POV too.


  • Great 
  • Juyona Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor [C: 2232 W: 10 N: 2971] (16891)
  • [2007-11-28 1:26]

Homa amigo,
realmente un lujo, hermosa captura, detalles color y bg...
excelente foco y pose, plumaje perfecto.
saludos Mario

Bonjour Mario,
Magnifique composition, superbe détails, couleurs, BG, enfin tout.... que dire?

Hi Mario
Excellent shot of this male Downy Woodpecker with nice pose and great details.

bonjour mario
je dirais même plus le trou sert de mangeoire,non?
je ne m'attarde pas car il n'y encore une fois rien a redire.

  • Great 
  • joey Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1739 W: 224 N: 6872] (24909)
  • [2007-11-28 4:02]

Fabulous image Mario!
Again, the sharpness is impeccable and the amount of detail is mind-blowing!
The thin red border is very good and brings out the little red patch on this guys head :)
Superb composition and POV.
Great lighting and colours.
Yet again... a perfect photo :D
Very well done,

Hi Mario,
This is a brillian capture of this Downy Woodpecker.
You were really close and the bird is seen so beautifully on this excellent composition.
A great light for this impeccable picture.
Congratulations and thanks for share it.
My best regards,

I'll bet you are trying to get as crisp and clear and CLOSE as you can without having to crop anything, have a nice pose and do it all right? Well you do it all the time...that's why you can't do it...:-) How self canceling is that?
This is a very nice looking bird. I do believe I have seen some of the like but where and what era of my life I don't know. Could have been one of our Quebec canoing trips in the early 1960's. Those were very fun....Quebec is a nice memory for me as an Boy Scout Explorer and Scout counselor. Anyway thanks for the memories..and apologies to Bob Hope
Bob Sr.

Dear Mario,
Thanks for the this beautiful photo!!
Outstanding and superb details and sharpness here, with perfect focusing.
Personally, it's amazing that you managed to create this wonderful shot with this exposure.
Your exif data really helps me a lot. :-)
Many thanks and best regards,
PS: I'm moving into the new house tommorrow. :-)
I'm not going to be here for a while.
I will be back soon! :-)

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2007-11-28 7:14]

This is the best shot of the Downy Woodpecker on TN, Mario! Technically of top quality with excellent POV, great neutral Bg pose and composition. You made the best use of the low light.
Well done and thanks for sharing this beauty.

Hi Mario
Very cute shot. Perfectly composed with great shapness and very ood OOF background.
Very ood job

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2007-11-28 11:20]

Hello Mario,
What dramatic perfect photo! These colours in the BG are so amazing connected to this photo. Can it be better?

Nice close-up and clear shot with a good pose. Difficult to get a good shot of one of these as they hop around. Nice take.

  • Great 
  • SelenE Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2249 W: 65 N: 4205] (13972)
  • [2007-11-29 4:20]

Hi Mario,
Great capture. Bravo and TFS
Best wishes,

Hi Mario,
Excellent sharpness, details, DOF, exposure, colors & pose :)
Very nice work,

  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2007-12-02 10:54]

Hi, Mario, again.
Fantastic scene and brilliant shot. All is perfect. Especially I like precise exposure and reproduction of the white colour tones. Every white feather is reflected perfectly. It is refined work, which demands top skill. Bravo and my congratulations.

Bonsoir Mario,

Une belle image de ce pic bois mineur, la photo a une bonne composition, netteté et de jolies couleurs. Bonne journée.


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