Friday, October 6, 2017


If there is one type of bird I've missed since moving from the North woods to city life, it's the woodpecker.  I'd had downy and hairy woodpeckers, red-bellied woodpeckers, and even a few pileateds.  But in the city, I was beginning to think my habitat was no longer suited for woodpeckers.

Then, one day as I was outside with Gracie, I thought I heard the faint drumming sound a woodpecker makes.  I kept an eye out for one and a few days later, I saw a Downy Woodpecker drumming away on my lilac bush.

It was exciting to have this smallest of woodpeckers visiting.  I know they are drawn to dead wood, which made we wonder about the health of my aging lilac.

Then I saw the attraction.  In one of the recent windstorms, a branch was torn off my lilac, leaving this gaping hole.

And sure enough, the next day, the little Downy was enjoying whatever bugs were found within the hole.

I hoped to keep the Downy coming so I bought a suet feeder and hung it near the lilac bush.  Luckily, it has returned.  It pecks at the tree a few times, jumps to the feeder, extracts a hunk of suet, and then flies off into the large tree stand at the back of my property.  I wonder if there will be more woodpecker visitors joining the little Downy.


  1. Thanks for sharing, I really enjoyed reading about the Downy's coming to your backyard.

  2. Thanks, Mark. I'm enjoying his visits too. I've since learned my Downy is a male because of the red patch on his head. The female doesn't have that.