• East view from Crissy Field overlook with old Coast Guard station on left and city on right

    Presidio of San Francisco


Downy Woodpecker

(Picoides pubescens)
Downy woodpecker
A Downy Woodpecker near El Polin Spring.
Will Elder, NPS

Natural History: This species of woodpecker primarily eats insect larvae but also feeds on seeds and berries. It forages on trunks and branches from 9 up to 65 high. It nests and roosts in cavities and is dependent on snags. This species breeds from late March to early September.

General Distribution: In the Presidio, this bird is found in areas of willow, eucalyptus, live oak, and forest snags. It breeds within the Presidio.

Frequency: This species is common all year in the Presidio.

Identifying Characteristics: This bird has a white back and a small bill. The males of the species often have a red coloration on their heads.

Presidio Birds main page

Did You Know?

Albert Sidney Johnston

Colonel Albert Sidney Johnston, commander of the Pacific branch of the army, prepared the defenses of the San Francisco Bay and ordered the first garrison of Fort Point. Kentucky-born Johnston then resigned his commission to join the Confederate Army; he was killed at the battle of Shiloh in 1862.