Downy Woodpecker

The downy woodpecker (Dryobates pubescens) is a species of woodpecker in the Picidae family, the smallest in North America.

Downy woodpeckers are native to forested areas, mainly deciduous, of North America. Their range consists of most of the United States and Canada, except for the deserts of the southwest and the tundra of the north.

Downy woodpeckers forage on trees, picking the bark surface in summer and digging deeper in winter. They mainly eat insects, but they also feed on seeds and berries. They are a natural predator of the European corn borer, a moth that costs the US agriculture industry more than $1 billion annually in crop losses and population control. In winter, especially, downy woodpeckers can often be found in suburban backyards with mature trees where they feed on suet and shelled peanuts provided by mesh birdfeeders.

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