Daddy Downy

Here’s a handsome Downy WoodpeckerDryobates pubescens, enjoying a peanut meal at a feeder in my back garden.  Downy Woodpecker dads are wings-on dads, teaching their offspring the woodpecker skills required for living in trees and finding food.

His offspring, this fledgling Downy practices her tree climbing maneuvers.   Hang on, little Downy!  I think this fledging is a female as she has no suggestion of red at the top of her darling head.

Her tree climbing landed the young one at the top of the limb, ready to survey the landscape and take in some lessons from Dad.

Dad is nearby, ready to teach,

…and deliver a snack.

 

Fledgling Downy has learned well.  I now see her almost daily, high up in the foliage or at the feeder, nibbling peanuts–just like her dad.  Baby had a good teacher and an excellent dad.

Daddy Downy–the best dad any woodpecker could chirp for.  Happy Father’s Day to all great dads who love and take care of their babies!

11 thoughts on “Daddy Downy

  1. Great post! Father Downy is doing a great job. The photos are great! It has been hard for me to get photos of the Downy Woodpeckers here because they are always moving from one place to another. I did get a great shot of the male in a hole trying to call a female to join him.

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    • He’s a good dad, to be sure! They’re tough to get and these last couple of months are the first that I’ve ever had them anywhere near for photos. I’ve started feeding peanuts and that’s the draw, otherwise, they’re way up in the trees and never still!

      It’s great that you were able to get the shot of the male wooing the female–nice!

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  2. What a charming post, Tina. It’s perfect for the day, although of course it would be perfect for any day. Those birds are delightful, but the baby is especially so. Lucky you, to have them around!

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    • Thank you, Linda. It’s been such a treat to watch this family–I don’t know why I didn’t purchase a peanut feeder sooner! The photos were taken in early May when the Daughter Downy was fledging. We were gone for about 12 days and when we returned, Daughter was on her own, working the feeder and making her way in the world. By now, I can’t quite tell the difference between mom and daughter, but I think mom’s tail feathers are still a little longer. I do feel fortunate that they’ve hung around these past couple of months!

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  3. Nice series of pics. I don’t put out peanuts when the weather warms. They tend to disappear so fast, especially with the House Sparrows. I do put out suet for the woodpeckers, though.

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    • Thanks, Jason! Interesting, House Sparrows haven’t shown any interest in the peanuts, neither have Northern Cardinals or squirrels, both of which are the bane of peanut providers everywhere, it seems. That said, I’ve had Starlings feeding on them and I usually only see Starlings in February–at the suet! Someone at Wild Birds Unlimited suggested that I only place a little out in the morning, and then again, in the evening the theory being that the woodpeckers (I get the Downies and the Red-bellied), the titmice, and chickadees mostly eat during that time. I’m not consistently around in the early part of the day, but I think that I’m seeing fewer Starlings. Or, it’s wishful thinking. 🙂

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