While the cardinals are gone, we do have a woodpecker

A beautiful site in our snowy back yard during breakfast…

A male downy woodpecker (Picoides pubescens) on our suet feeder (Kristi, correct me if I'm wrong!)

About Steve Caplan

I am a Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, Nebraska where I mentor a group of students, postdoctoral fellows and researchers working on endocytic protein trafficking. My first lablit novel, "Matter Over Mind," is about a biomedical researcher seeking tenure and struggling to overcome the consequences of growing up with a parent suffering from bipolar disorder. Lablit novel #2, "Welcome Home, Sir," published by Anaphora Literary Press, deals with a hypochondriac principal investigator whose service in the army and post-traumatic stress disorder actually prepare him well for academic, but not personal success. Novel #3, "A Degree of Betrayal," is an academic murder mystery. "Saving One" is my most recent novel set at the National Institutes of Health. Now IN PRESS: Today's Curiosity is Tomorrow's Cure: The Case for Basic Biomedical Research (CRC PRESS, 2021). https://www.amazon.com/kindle-dbs/entity/author/B006CSULBW? All views expressed are my own, of course--after all, I hate advertising.
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4 Responses to While the cardinals are gone, we do have a woodpecker

  1. KristiV says:

    Great photo, Steve! Yes, I think you’re correct – the overall size and the length of the bill are consistent with a Downy, rather than a Hairy, Woodpecker. My parents, in Houston, see them at their suet feeders too, and in a nearby park there are Pileated Woodpeckers.

    Unfortunately, in my current neighborhood, there is a poignant paucity of Picidae.

    • Steve Caplan says:

      Thank you for the confirmation, Kristi. Cameras are wonderful. They don’t render the same impression as a hand drawn picture, but they leave art-challenged people like myself an alternative. BTW, I wish I had saved the awful attempted drawings that I was forced to make in zoology labs many years ago so that my kids could laugh at them. I could never get any of the proportions right, and always ended up drawing monsters…

  2. ricardipus says:

    Kristi already weighed in, but yes that is certainly a Downy. Lovely little birds, we very occasionally get them in the yard but there’s a dearth of mature trees where I live, at least among the houses, so they tend to stay in the wooded parts nearby rather than the backyards.

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