Monday Mercurial #19: a little tongue

Downy Woodpecker, female (Picoides pubescens). Click for full size.



5 thoughts on “Monday Mercurial #19: a little tongue

  1. It’s probably because we have different species, but your photographs are my first exposure to woodpeckers with such fuzzy beaks. Cute!

  2. They are cute! Downy woodpeckers are the smallest woodpeckers in North America, ranging from 5.5″ to 7″ in length.

  3. Amazing shot! That’s a rather pointy tongue, and (from what I’ve read) is probably quite long and rooted in the back of the bird’s skull.

    We have Downies in SoCal too, and the similar-looking Nuttall’s Woodpecker.

  4. Thanks! I’ve had a number of blurry shots with the beak open, and the tongue is highly arched, and yes, very long. If you have Downys, you must have Hairy woodpeckers, too – they are identical to Downys, except for no spots on the tail feathers, and considerably larger. The Hairys are quite shy, though, where the Downys aren’t. They don’t wait for me to finish filling feeding stations, they come up on deck and start eating while I’m out there.

  5. I’ve never actually seen a Hairy Woodpecker. I guess they don’t visit the suburbs here if they are present.

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