As I was leaving the Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge in Oklahoma for the day, I spotted this Downy Woodpecker With Beetle.

During the summer and winter, Downy Woodpeckers forage on trees by picking at the bark’s surface. Insects are their main food source, but they also eat seeds and berries.

Downy Woodpecker With Beetle

Downy Woodpecker (Dryobates pubescens) With Beetle

With their sharp, pointed beaks, these birds delve deep into the bark of trees in search of the elusive insects. And, when they find them, they use their long, sticky tongues to extract and devour their hard-earned prize.

Through their foraging habits, Downy Woodpeckers help to control beetle populations and reduce the damage these insects can cause to trees. Additionally, their pecking at the bark of trees can expose beetle larvae to predators and parasites, further keeping populations in balance.

These birds also serve as important indicators of the well-being of the forest. If their numbers are low, it could be a sign of disease, insect infestations, or changes in the habitat. On the other hand, a thriving population of Downy Woodpeckers suggests a healthy and abundant ecosystem.

Captured with a Canon EOS R7 and Canon RF 100-500 mm F4.5-7.1 L IS USM lens on January 13, 2023 (12:32 P.M.),