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Come on Downy!

I went out for a walk in the forest this morning looking to spend some time feeding the tame chickadees and nuthatches. I was also hoping to relocate the tame male Hairy Woodpecker I encountered two weeks ago. I didn't relocate him, but I did encounter this tame Downy Woodpecker who readily hopped on my hand a couple of times for a share of the nuts and seeds the chickadees and nuthatches were excitedly snatching up.
I have only had a Downy Woodpecker come to my hand like this a couple of times over the years, most of those times being within the last few months. It appears that there is a trend towards this species becoming tame. A couple of years ago having a White-breasted Nuthatch come to my hand like this was unheard of, but now they will readily come to my hand at several of our conservations areas. I wonder if the same thing will happen with Downy Woodpeckers? Maybe a couple of years from now having a Downy come to my hand will be an everyday experience when I go to the forest.
Unlike the chickadees and nuthatches, who grab a seed and fly off within a second or two, this woodpecker sat on my hand and pounded away at the peanuts for up to half a minute, occasionally missing and striking my bare hand with her chisel-like beak. That hurt! On one visit she clung to my wrist and just sat there for half a minute or so watching the torrent of chickadees of nuthatches before grabbing one of the large shelled peanuts and making off with it. She then spent the next couple of minutes unsuccessfully trying to get it open.
Aside from this 20 minute feeding frenzy, which came upon me suddenly and ended just as fast, there were surprisingly few birds around the forest this morning. Areas of open water were completely frozen over and there weren't even many squirrels around. An hour after this feeding frenzy ended I returned to the same area hoping to have more encounters with this tame Downy and I couldn't even find a single chickadee. I did note a few small flocks of winter birds flying over: Bohemian Waxwing, White-winged Crossbill, and a singleton Pine Siskin. But none in the forest itself. No sparrows either.
I had my video camera handy when the Downy was coming to my hand and the following video shows two visits by the Downy.

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Ann Pettigrew07-Nov-2010 05:16
Great video. I am amazed that a downy would come to your hand. Must have been a real treat for you. Are they black-capped chickadees?
larose forest photos05-Nov-2010 02:56
Great shot and story! I remember many years ago when a friend and I were followed all around the Jack Pine trail by a very determined red-breasted nuthatch. Problem was, we had no seeds. Birds are endlessly fascinating for the ways they surprise us.
laine04-Nov-2010 12:23
How trusting they are..what a moment, Chris..and how fortunate to have your video!!
Guest 04-Nov-2010 07:14
Great work .I love it!
Astrid Taen04-Nov-2010 04:24
Thanks for sharing.
Guest 04-Nov-2010 01:01
How great is that!!
pkocinski03-Nov-2010 23:46
I've never heard of a Downy coming to a hand so you're lucky - I guess :-)
Guest 03-Nov-2010 23:30
Wonderful shot and video. Marvellous! V
Hank Vander Velde03-Nov-2010 23:24
Priceless Chris. Super shot and just a fantastic video. I've never heard of a Downy or Hairy WP coming to feed off one's hand. Great experience.
Jim Coffman03-Nov-2010 22:59
This is just fantastic!! What a thrill that would be.
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