Downy Closeup

She’s no movie star, but the closer I get, the better she looks…

Perhaps Roberta K. Downy Woodpecker craves suet more than she fears my presence. Or maybe she just trusts me somewhat after watching me observe her all summer. In any case she let me get close enough to capture her delicate features here and I am very grateful.

Female Down Woodpecker, full figure
The whisker-like down feathers around Roberta’s beak are called nasal bristles. Downies have a significantly greater number of nasal bristles compared to similar-looking Hairy Woodpeckers. The bristles protect her nasal passages from all the sawdust generated by continual wood-pecking!

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