My brother, an avid birder, tells me that I probably spotted a female Hairy Woodpecker rather than a Downy Woodpecker.
They are difficult to tell apart, but Cornell Lab of Ornithology has an excellent article on the subtle differences in these woodpeckers.
Apparently the Downy Woodpecker has black speckles on the outer tail feathers while the Hairy Woodpecker (in the Eastern part of the USA and Canada) has completely white outer tail feathers. It also has a longer beak than the Downy Woodpecker. I checked through my pictures and, sure enough, this photo showed the outer tail feathers – no speckles.
My brother also told me that the Red-bellied woodpecker is becoming a little more common on PEI – one was spotted during the Christmas Bird Count.
I told him that I am going with the PEI Government website information – that in the autumn a sighting of the red-bellied woodpecker is an accidental sighting – 1 to 9 in a CENTURY!!!
I could almost hear my mom say “Will you two stop it!”
Happy Wednesday um, I mean Thursday! (Very very sad – LOL!)