The Downy Woodpecker is the smallest known woodpecker in all of the United States with an average length of 6-7 inches. The Latin name, Picoides Pubesces, translates to resembling hairy. The Downy Woodpecker has a similar plumage to the Hairy Woodpecker hence why it's called resembling hairy in Latin. An adult Downy Woodpecker is around an 1 ounce with a wingspan from 10-12 inches in width. The Downy is mainly black on the upper parts and wings, with a white back, throat and belly and white spotting on the wings. The male has a red nape that is used in order to attract a mate. In spring and summer, Downy Woodpeckers make lots of noise, both with their shrill whinnying call and by drumming on trees. Drumming, one of the unique characteristics of woodpeckers, is both functional and a way to defend territory. Woodpeckers have a shock-absorbing system in their heads that prevents their brains from slamming into their skull. Additionally, their skulls are heavier than most birds’ to withstand the repeated impact. While drumming is needed to create a nesting cavity or find insects under heavy bark, male woodpeckers also drum to establish a territory and maintain dominance afterwords. Downy Woodpeckers prefer open deciduous forests or and an uncultivated strip of land, although they frequent a variety of habitats including city parks and backyards. While some bird species have been negatively impacted by the fragmentation of forests or other habitat due to suburban sprawl and rural development, Downy Woodpeckers seem to be unaffected and even thrive in such areas. Downy Woodpeckers eat mainly insects, including beetle larvae that live inside wood or tree bark as well as ants and caterpillars. They eat pest insects including corn ear-worm, tent caterpillars, bark beetles, and apple borers. About a quarter of their diet consists of plant material, particularly berries, acorns, and grains. Downy Woodpeckers are common feeder birds, eating suet and black oil sunflower seeds and occasionally drinking from hummingbird feeders. Downy Woodpeckers are widespread and abundant. They are found year-round throughout North America, though, like many year-round resident birds.