Monday, November 7, 2016

Downy Woodpecker on the Tuolumne River Parkway Trail

Some days on the Tuolumne River are quiet, and I won't see any birds of note. Other times I will see a new species that I haven't seen before along the trail. My short walk last week felt like the former but turned out to be the latter. As I was wrapping up my stroll, I saw a new bird on the dead cottonwood. It turned out to be a Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens). These are the smallest of the woodpeckers, and are described as very active. That seemed apt; I got lots of pictures, but most were blurry. Not the scene, but the bird itself.
It climbed over and under the dead branches looking for insects. It finally posed for a couple of pictures, and then flew to the adjacent tree, where I saw that it had company!
The Downy Woodpecker is common and ranges widely across North America from Alaska to the Mexican border and the Eastern Seaboard. Obviously, I should be seeing them more often!

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