Woodpeckers (Picidae)

Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens) - HBW 7, p. 490

French: Pic mineur German: Dunenspecht Spanish: Pico Pubescente

Taxonomy: Picus pubescens Linnaeus, 1766, South Carolina, USA.
Most closely related to P. nuttallii and P. scalaris, and has hybridized with former. DNA analyses also indicate possible relationship with Dendrocopos minor of Old World; further study required. Nominate race and medianus intergrade widely in C USA. Clinal variation in size, decreasing from N to S. Additional named races nelsoni (Alaska to Alberta) and microleucus (Newfoundland) considered unacceptable. Six subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution:

  • medianus (Swainson, 1832) - C Alaska and Canada (E of Rockies, from S Mackenzie and Alberta) E to S Quebec and Newfoundland, and S in USA to Nebraska and Virginia.
  • glacialis (Grinnell, 1910) - SE Alaskan coast.
  • gairdnerii (Audubon, 1839) - W British Columbia S along coast to NW California.

     See all 6 subspecies
  • medianus (Swainson, 1832) - C Alaska and Canada (E of Rockies, from S Mackenzie and Alberta) E to S Quebec and Newfoundland, and S in USA to Nebraska and Virginia.
  • glacialis (Grinnell, 1910) - SE Alaskan coast.
  • gairdnerii (Audubon, 1839) - W British Columbia S along coast to NW California.
  • leucurus (Hartlaub, 1852) - Rocky Mts from SE Alaska S to NE California, Arizona and New Mexico.
  • turati (Malherbe, 1861) - inland Washington and Oregon, and California (except NW & NE).
  • pubescens (Linnaeus, 1766) - Kansas E to North Carolina and S to E Texas and Florida.
  •      No sound recordings available yet