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"Every child should have mud pies, grasshoppers, waterbugs, tadpoles, frogs & turtles, elderberries, wild strawberries, acorns, hickory nuts, trees to climb, animals to pet, hayfields, pine cones, rocks to roll, sand, snakes, huckleberries and hornets – and any child who has been deprived of these has been deprived of the best part of his education." -Luther Burbank 1849 - 1926
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DOWNEY WOODPECKER - Species Profile

Woodpeckers seem compelled to enlarge entrances to nestboxes before using them! Downeys are the smallest woodpecker and you can attract them to your nestboxes and feeders. They are generally year round residents.

HABITAT

The small Downey Woodpecker is quite territorial, and each couple defends a territory about 1/4 acre around the nest, but ranges over a much larger area.

NESTING

NESTBOX: 4x4"-5x5", 1.25 to 1.5" Hole
Adding an inch or 2 of woodchips in the bottom of the box makes your nestbox more attractive.

FOOD

It's obvious that woodpeckers like insects...but they also like fruit and tree seeds, sunflower seed, corn, cornbread, peanut butter and suet.

WATER

Water sources are important to all birds, especially during frozen winter spells and hot dry summer days. Best placed in the open, with nearby branches for convenient lookouts will invite birds to your water features.

COVER

Natural landscaping of encourages these woodland birds. "Wood" is their middle name for a reason! Mature trees are favorites, but young trees also provide insects and cover.

INTERESTING TIDBITS

A layer of woodchips helps keep the eggs from rolling around the next, and may help keep the eggs warm since they partially bury their eggs in the chips.

Leaving deadwood (as long as it doesn’t endanger anyone) in your trees will encourage woodpeckers to visit your backyard. The snags attract insects and provide soft wood in which the woodpecker can excavate their nest holes. And these holes are used by a wide variety of native birds.

"Drumming" is a signal of territorial ownership or mating call -- or to communicate whereabouts to a mate. Loud, rapid volleys on resonant surfaces such as hollow trees or house drainpipes are favorite "drums".

4x4" or 5x5" nestboxes house the following cavity nesters. Species-specific predator guards provide additional protection from predators.

  • Eastern Bluebirds
  • Red & White Breasted Nuthatches
  • Wrens - Carolina, House, Bewick's
  • Tufted Titmouse
  • Prothonotary Warbler
  • Downey Woodpecker

    For more articles about NATURE & KIDS

    Young Birders Get Serious About Birding Fun
    The Squirrel Family 0 Backyard Nature Safari
    Hamsters are rodents and cuddly pets
    Kids Learning Links
    Buddy's Diner (for the birds)
    Bird Profiles for Young Naturalists