Photo of the Week - Downy Woodpecker in Snow

As I write this, it is two days before my favorite holiday of the year.  It is 32 degrees out, the sun is shining and there is no chance of snow between now and Christmas.  I am fine with this as Christmas is not about snow, but about our Savior, Jesus Christ.  It is the celebration of his birth.  However, if I could have snow and the celebration, it would be perfect for a traditionalist like me!  The beautiful snow slows our pace and make us think on more important issues besides the rush of life.

Christmas snow, however, does slow down this downy woodpecker above from gathering his daily meals. This downy is the male, as noted by his tuft of red feathers at the rear of his cap.  The downy is a very small woodpecker at only about 5.5 inches, but he is a cutie for sure.  He is not an aggressive woodpecker and is often chased away by the larger red-bellied woodpecker.  The female looks almost identical except for the missing red accent.  This downy is showing us the common behavior of latching to tree.  During the latching process, the tail of the woodpecker is used to form a tripod among the talons and tail while he is searching the tree for food.  This approach is common among woodpeckers but not most other songbirds.

I hope this cute little downy woodpecker warms your heart this holiday season!  Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

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In most cases, the photo of the week is the image that receives the most engagement over the last week on my Facebook and Instagram accounts.

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