|Baby downy boys have a red top instead of a red neck like daddy.|
Most woodpeckers in mid-Michigan only nest once a year and average a brood of three or four. I have also seen the Hairy Woodpecker babies. I'm still waiting anxiously for the Red-bellied to show up with his brood at the suet feeder. I see the adults flying away with occasional hunks of suet that I'm sure they are taking back to the nest, but no babies yet.
Downy Woodpeckers look the same, except that males have a small red patch at the back of their neck. To identify young males, look for a red patch on the forehead instead of their neck. Young females do not have any red at all. But both the male and female young will look much better with brand new clean feathers. The parents look a little ragged and will go through their annual molt soon.
Two things you can do to help woodpeckers:
1. Food: Keep your suet feeder full of high fat, high protein suet, or make sure your seed blend contains nuts. (I use peanutbutter suet and No-mess bird seed).
2. Window Decals: Make sure you have your Window Alerts in place. Woodpeckers are slower to develop than some other birds. They don't understand that they can't fly through windows. Putting up window decals to help save their necks!
- What’s the best suet for Michigan wild birds? http://bit.ly/rxU9cu
- What birds eat suet? http://bit.ly/q2Sfje
- How do I Attract Woodpeckers? http://bit.ly/o4CLqI
- Filling Up on Fatty Foods: http://bit.ly/ob0NIq
- Michigan made suet feeders: http://bit.ly/rbKskX