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Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens)

Posted on Sep 30, 2014

Downy Woodpeckers (Picoides pubescens) are a common sight in the region and can typically be seen hammering away at the bark of a tree, attempting to uncover a nice juicy larval insect. These woodpeckers aren’t terribly picky, and have recently been found to munch down Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) larvae, an invasive species of beetle attacking ash trees. As EAB has spread throughout several states, scientists have been seeing rising population numbers as a result of increased food resources in at least four bird species, including the downy woodpecker. While woodpeckers may have some impact on EAB populations, we shouldn’t let them do all the work. Doing our part by observing local forest and urban ash trees for any early signs of infestation, not transporting firewood and treating trees when possible will prevent this invader from killing billions of ash trees across the country.

Downy Woodpecker