Facts about Downy Woodpeckers, "Scientific name for Downy Woodpecker is Picoides pubescens". The Downy Woodpecker is a Picoides type of woodpecker that comes from the Picidae family. Scientific name for Woodpecker "Picidae". Downy Woodpeckers are birds in the Class of "Aves". There are more than 190 species of woodpeckers worldwide, but none of them are found in polar regions, Madagascar, New Zealand or Australia.
The Downy Woodpecker are native to North America, and they are also called as Pic mineur in French. The matured Downy Woodpeckers are the smallest of woodpeckers in North America, but there are several smaller varieties elsewhere, particularly the Piculets. These woodpeckers give many vocalizations, as well as a short pick call. Similar to other woodpeckers, it as well, makes a drumming sound through its beak while it pecks into trees. However, its drums are slow when compared to other woodpecker varieties of North America.
The Downy Woodpecker is a small-sized woodpecker, with a body length ranging from 5 11/17 inches to 6 11/16 inches (14.4 to 17 cm) and the wingspan between 3 5/16 inches and 4 1/8 inches (8.3 to 10.5 cm). They have a body mass that ranges from 0.74 pounds to 0.99 pounds (.33 to .44 kg).
Most parts of the body of the Downy Woodpecker are covered with the combination of black and white colors. The back part of their body is black in color, with white color down the middle part of their body. These woodpeckers appear with black color wings, with white marks. The head of the bird is black in color, with a white color line below and above each eye. They have a black colored tail, with white external parts, barred with black color. Their belly and chest have a white to grayish color range.
The Downy Woodpecker has white color nasal tufts on the bottom of a thick, black colored, chisel-shaped bill. Female and male Downy Woodpeckers are similar in look, but the male breeds encompass a small red area on the nape of their neck. Usually, Juvenile and male Downy Woodpeckers contain a red area on their forehead and are short of red on the nape of their neck. Juvenile female Downy Woodpecker breeds appear similar to juvenile males, but are short of red on their nape or forehead.
The Downy Woodpeckers also have a smaller, stubbier bill, which is smaller than their head length. The Downy Woodpecker can be distinguished with other varieties in terms of their behavior. Usually, the Downy Woodpecker variety offers much less influential vocalizations and is inclined to forage on smaller substrates than other woodpecker varieties.
Mostly, Downy Woodpeckers feed on insects, as well as beetle larvae that survive in the wood or in the bark of a tree, including caterpillars and ants. They also feed on pest insects, such as the corn earworm, bark beetles, tent caterpillars and apple borers. The Downy Woodpecker plant foods include plant material, chiefly acorns, berries and grains. They are common nourishing birds, feeding on suet and black color oil sunflower seeds and rarely drinking from hummingbird nourishments.
The average lifespan of the Downy Woodpecker ranges from 11 years to 12 years.
Downy Woodpeckers possess a protective ocular mechanisms for protecting its eyes from shaking from the pecking impact. Downy Woodpeckers show a restricted axial globe movement due to the tight fit within the fascial tissue connections and orbit between the sclera and orbital rim.
The eyes of the Downy Woodpecker are covered with a nictitating membrane (from Latin nictare, to blink)— a translucent and transparent third eyelid - that protects the Downy Woodpeckers eyes from flying debris while pecking.
Most Downy Woodpeckers have zygodactyl feet, having 4 fingers, which means the Downy Woodpecker have two toes facing the front and two toes facing the back, that helps them to have a strong grip on trees vertically. The Downy Woodpecker use these 8 fingers with their stiff central portion tail feathers to brace on trees as they climb.
Male and female Downy Woodpeckers are able to drum hollow trees logs execrate. Since woodpeckers do not have vocal cords and don't sing, this pecking activity also plays an important role in communicating with each other. Woodpeckers drumming is also to attract a mate, mark out territory, both sexes are known to drum.
The Downy Woodpeckers tongue is up to 4 inches long. The length can be a little different depending on which species of woodpecker. The Downy Woodpecker tongue wraps around the reinforced skull structured and squashy bone, to even out the impact of the pecking force. Downy Woodpeckers have barbed tongues that helps them remove bugs from holes and tree bark.
Feathers that look like hairs on the Downy Woodpecker nostrils, prevent ingestion of wood particles.
When feeding, drumming and building a nest cavity, a Downy Woodpecker can peck up to 20 times per second, wow that's fast! or a total between 9,000 and 12,000 pecks in a day.
Downy Woodpeckers have a prominent surge in flight comprise of three rapid wing flaps, followed by a quick glide when the Downy Woodpeckers wings are tucked against its body rather than spread out like many other birds.
Downy Woodpeckers are omnivores; meaning - an animal that eats food of both animal and plant and origin.
Downy Woodpeckers are monogamous meaning- the pair will mate for lifetime. Both male and female prepare the nest in the tree for babies and both will help feed them. The female Downy Woodpecker will lay between 3 and 5 eggs and the incubation period will lasts 11 to 14 days. After one month of hatching, young woodpeckers will leave the nest and venture out on there own.