The Downy Dance

The Downy Dance

A couple of days ago I took a quick hike into the woods. I saw a few birds, but it was a bit cold, so there really weren’t too many around.

I did happen to see a couple of Downy Woodpeckers doing a dance around a tree. At first I thought that it might be a male and female dancing some sort of courting ritual. After getting a good look at them through the binoculars, I realized that it actually was a couple of males. 


Round and round they continued to move. They were probably doing some sort of dominance dance!

You can tell that they are males, since the males have a red nape spot. Males and females actually have different feeding areas during the late fall and winter. There probably weren’t any females around these two, but they were preparing for the day that the females and males pair off which usually happens in late winter…


The Downy Woodpecker is the smallest woodpecker in North America. You can find them throughout the US and Canada.

They mostly eat insects, but they do eat some seeds and will eat suet from bird feeders. I have a pair at my feeders everyday, and I have seen them eat both seeds and the suet, usually the seeds when I’ve run out of suet…

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