Downy Woodpeckers Change Color


We have Downy Woodpecker pairs coming to the feeders and nesting nearby.  There is one particular male who comes often and all of the white feathers on his body are stained a deep yellow.  I think this is from pollen.  I wondered if it could be from sap but the feathers don’t look sticky.  I cannot think of what else it could be but pollen. 

The same thing occurred last year with a pair of these woodpeckers.  Later on in the season, none of the Downy’s had the yellow feathers so I assumed the staining eventually washed off via bathing and rain and/or perhaps the late summer molt replaced the stained feathers.  I don’t think I have ever seen this before last year and I have seen many a Downy in my lifetime.

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