I am not particularly great at identifying birds, especially since from watching them, I’m come to realize that books and websites notwithstanding they don’t necessarily look exactly like the picture on the computer or the book.

The black and white “laddering” may be complete, or askew, or have a white stripe where none of them has a white stripe. The head may have a BIG red patch, a little red patch, no red at all. A black back. A big white stripe down the back or a big black stripe down the back. Or a ladder-back.

They are all woodpeckers (or flickers, who really are woodpeckers by another name). These are all my woodpeckers. Anyone who cares to jump into the fray is free to tell me what they think this bird is.

The only thing we need to agree on is that they are woodpeckers of some kind. Some of bigger and some are smaller. A big downy and a small hairy woodpecker are essentially identical and the flickers just ruin your concentration. Somewhere in the woods is a big Pileated Woodpecker, but I don’t think he will ever get close enough for me to get a clear picture of him. He is not “human house” friendly and it’s possible he won’t eat seeds.

I don’t have suet because the squirrels would get it before the birds anyway AND I have no place to hang a third feeder. My backyard, once the snow falls, is impenetrable. I can get to the deck usually unless we’ve gotten a 2-foot blizzard.

Following last night’s snow — I think we might have gotten three inches, all told, it has begun to rain and if we don’t get that freeze tonight, the snow should magic itself away in a day or two. Meanwhile, I’m not going any further than the coffee machine in the kitchen — and the fall of yesterday is really hurting today.

I’m one of those funny people who feel fine the day of the accident and really hurts 24-hours later. I and my heating pad have had (ahem!) a warm relationship this morning.

30 thoughts on “WOODPECKERS: NAME THAT BIRD! – Marilyn Armstrong”

  1. “…snow should magic itself away…” I love this phrase. I have a friend in Germany who was telling me once about a magic show he had seen in Las Vegas. He said that the magician “disappeared and elephant” I love that phrase too. I use it often – “they disappeared something” now I can say they magiced it away!
    I learn so much from you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have the solid red-headed woodpeckers, but no pictures. I see them, but have never managed to get a photo of one of them, except so far in the distance, it wasn’t even a picture, just an impression. They are relatively rare, by the way AND they don’t like feeders — or people.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Sorry for your fall–take care. My dad used to call me a ‘red-headed woodpecker’ since I have bright orange hair and always have done. That’s the extent of my bird knowledge in that area.


      1. We have had six or ten inches of ice on top of snow so it didn’t go anywhere for days. Last night it started raining, so it is all becoming fog–but at least I can probably shovel the bottom of the drive so the fuel truck can get here–


  3. So sorry to hear of your fall and resulting soreness! The heat pad makes it feel better but i think cold packs reduce swelling which adds to stiffness? But i’m no doctor! πŸ˜‰

    I’d say the first few are definitely red-bellies, as they have the ‘ladderback’ look all over their backs and have no black band over their eyes the others are either downy’s ( smaller birds, smaller beaks) or Hairy’s ( Bigger bird, longer pointed ‘chisel’ beak) I think the one without a red cap is a female Hairy, and the very last one probably a female Downy?

    Whatever they are you have caught them beautifully! πŸ™‚


  4. What a great collection of Woodpeckers! Red bellied are the first ones, and the smaller are Downy Woodpeckers. With a red spot on the back of the head is male, without is female. A Hairy Woodpecker is larger than the Downy and has a longer pointier bill. Northern Flickers have spotted breasts and a black bib and a red spot on the back of their head. They come to my yard pretty often, so maybe you will get one too!


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