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WOODPECKERS

Downy WoodpeckerWoodpeckers are small to medium sized birds with chisel like beaks, short legs, stiff tails and long tongues used for capturing insects. Some species have feet with two toes pointing forward, and two backward, while several species have only three toes. Many woodpeckers have the habit of tapping noisily on tree trunks with their beaks.

The Downy Woodpecker, Picoides pubescens, is the smallest woodpecker in North America. Adults are mainly black on the upper parts and wings, with a white back, throat and belly and white spotting on the wings. There is a white bar above the eye and one below. They have a black tail with white outer feathers barred with black. Adult males have a red patch on the back of the head.

It is virtually identical in plumage pattern to the much larger Hairy Woodpecker, but it can be told from the Hairy by the presence of black spots on its white tail feathers. These species are not very closely related, and they are likely to be separated in different genera (Weibel & Moore, 2005; Moore et al., 2006); the outward similarity is a spectacular example of convergent evolution. Why they evolved this way cannot be explained with confidence; it may be relevant that the species exploit rather different-sized foodstuffs and do not compete very much ecologically.

Their breeding habitat is forested areas, mainly deciduous, across most of North America to Central America. They nest in a tree cavity excavated by the nesting pair in a dead tree or limb.

These birds are mostly permanent residents. Northern birds may migrate further south; birds in mountainous areas may move to lower elevations. Downy Woodpeckers roost in tree cavities in the winter.

Downy Woodpeckers forage on trees, picking the bark surface in summer and digging deeper in winter. They mainly eat insects, also seeds and berries. In winter, especially, Downy Woodpeckers can often be found in treed suburban backyards and will feed on suet at birdfeeders.


References:
[1] Text from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: Woodpecker
[2] Text from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: List of Massachusetts Birds
[3] Text from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: Downy Woodpecker
[4] Photo from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: Downy Woodpecker


 
 

 
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Massachusetts ( MA ) cities and towns serviced by Freedom Pest Control:
Amesbury MA, Andover MA, Arlington MA, Berkley MA, Beverly MA, Billerica MA, Boston MA, Boxford MA, Bradford MA, Brighton MA, Brockton MA, Brookline MA, Burlington MA, Byfield MA, Cambridge MA, Carlisle MA, Charlestown MA, Chelmsford MA, Chelsea MA, Chestnut Hill MA, Concord MA, Danvers MA, Dedham MA, Dracut MA, Essex MA, Everett MA, Georgetown MA, Gloucester MA, Groveland MA, Hamilton MA, Hanover MA, Haverhill MA, Holliston MA, Hyde Park MA, Ipswich MA, Jamaica Plain MA, Lawrence MA, Littleton MA, Lowell MA, Lynn MA, Lynnfield MA, Malden MA, Manchester-by-the-Sea MA, Marblehead MA, Marlborough MA, Mattapan MA, Medford MA, Melrose MA, Merrimac MA, Methuen MA, Middleton MA, Nahant MA, Newbury MA, Newburyport MA, Newton Highlands MA, Newton MA, North Andover MA, North Reading MA, Peabody MA, Quincy MA, Randolph MA, Reading MA, Revere MA, Rockport MA, Roslindale MA, Rowley MA, Salem MA, Salisbury MA, Salisbury Beach MA, Saugus MA, Somerville MA, South Hamilton MA, Stoneham MA, Swampscott MA, Tewksbury MA, Topsfield MA, Upton MA, Waban MA, Wakefield MA, Waltham MA, Watertown MA, Wayland MA, Wenham MA, West Boxford MA, West Newbury MA, Wilmington MA, Winchester MA, Winthrop MA, Woburn MA, Worcester MA
 
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