Crazy About Birds

By Kimb

Hairy Woodpecker

This is a male hairy woodpecker. Hairy woodpeckers are very similar to downy woodpeckers, except bigger. And with a considerably longer beak. That said, when you don't see them side by side, it's sometimes a bit tricky to be sure which you're looking at. I see hairy woodpeckers a lot less frequently than the downies - which may be partly because I'm given to understand that hairy woodpeckers have territories that they maintain, while downies are not quite so likely to chase off another pair of downies in your yard. In any case, I'm finally familiar enough with what size a downy looks like on my bark butter feeder so that I now immediately do a double take and go "OH! That's a hairy, not a downy!" and lunge for my camera.

The female looks the same, but without the red at the back of the head. Which is the case with the downy woodpeckers as well.

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