One of the most commonly seen woodpeckers in our backyards is the downy. The downy holds the distinction of being our smallest woodpecker.
This tiny (6.5-6.75″) woodpecker is easily identified by its black and white plumage. The downy woodpecker also sports a short bill less than the length of its head.
Something that many people do not realize is that you can distinguish female from male downy woodpeckers. It order to do this you must catch a glimpse of the back of the bird’s neck. If the bird displays an unbroken red patch across its nape, it is a male. If the bird lacks this red snippet, it is a female.