Downy Woodpecker

Downy Woodpecker
Photo: Inge Curtis

Downies are the smallest and cutest of eight species of ‘peckers in south-east Virginia. Inge captured this picture of a male downy at a food bank. It hammered suet, nuts and seeds into a cavity of a bough. We don’t expect different species to be deliberately cooperative, but so it seemed. Like visitors at a community bank, a Red-breasted Nuthatch and Tufted Titmouse also deposited titbits while two other species came to check it out. All the depositors returned for withdrawals, the female downy taking more than the rest, perhaps for her nestlings. But an open safe at a bank is a temptation to bandits and along came a squirrel to steal everything.