Photo © Max Womack
This is the smallest member of the family in Texas and the one most likely to occur at backyard feeders, especially those serving suet cakes. Males have a tiny red patch on the back of their heads, while females have no red. This woodpecker looks like a mini-me version of the hairy woodpecker. To tell the downy from the hairy, look for a downy’s shorter bill (shorter than the width of the bird’s head) and a few tiny black dots on the outer white tail feathers. The hairy woodpecker has a longer bill and snow-white outer tail feathers. Remember: “Downies have dots; hairies have not.”
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