Downy Woodpecker

Downy Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker

Tom Wilson

The Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens) grows to 6 inches long, with a wingspan of 11.5 inches. It is the smallest American woodpecker found north of Mexico. It is a versatile bird, and can be found in almost any wooded environment, where they excavate their nests from dead wood. Downy woodpeckers are similar in appearance to Hairy woodpeckers- one main difference is size, both overall and size of the bill. Hairy woodpeckers can grow to 9 inches long and their bills are about twice as long as those of Downy woodpeckers. It can be distinguished from all woodpeckers except for the Hairy by the white patch on the back and its mostly unmarked whitish flanks. Because of the Downy's light weight, it can forage on dry cornstalks, small twigs and tall weeds, but its diet mostly consists of a variety of insects, especially wood-boring ones. Its call is a quick pikk, or a high-pitched descending whinny.

Last updated: April 14, 2015

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

1978 Island Ford Parkway
Sandy Springs, GA 30350


(678) 538-1200
If you should receive a message on the phone that the number is out of service or has been disconnected then try calling or texting 404-695-2620. If you know the cell number of the person you are trying to contact please use it.

Contact Us