Guest Author - Lisa Shea
The Hairy Woodpecker, or Picoides villosus, is often confused with its smaller relative, the Downy Woodpecker. Both have striped black heads, with the females having a red dot on the back of the head. Both have a white chest and pointed beak. Both love suet.
The difference between these two woodpeckers is size. The Hairy is around 9.25" long, while the Downy is only 6.75" long. The Hairy´s beak is quite long - just about as long as his head is. The Downy´s beak is very short in comparison. Also, the Downy has a tuft of feathers by its beak, while the Hairy´s feathers are flat in this area.
The Hairy calls with a sharp PEEK noise, or a series of such notes in the spring. It is found just about everywhere in the US and Canada, even up into Alaska. It loves suet, although it will rarely try sunflower seeds if no suet is to be found.
Hairy MPG Video (383k)
More Hairy Woodpecker Photos
Downy Woodpecker Information
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Suet - Lard vs Vegetable Shortening
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