Can you tell the difference between a hairy and downy woodpecker? These two look almost identical, but there are a few key differences. Learn how to attract a hairy woodpecker to your yard, and listen to its song.
Photo: Roland Jordahl
- Scientific Name: Picoides villosus.
- Family: Woodpecker.
- Length: 9-1/4 inches.
- Wingspan: 15 inches.
- Distinctive Markings: Almost identical to downy but noticeable larger; distingushed by a longer heavier bill, and an inconspicuous tuft. Females lack red on back of head.
- Nest: Cavity excavated by both sexes; usually lays four white eggs.
- Song: A strong "peek" or "peech", sharper than the downy.
- Habitat: Lives mostly in forests, but may move to open country in fall and winter.
- Diet: Insects, larvae of wood borers, fruit and nuts.
- Backyard Favorites: Comes to feeding stations for suet, sunflower seeds, meat scraps and peanut butter.
Listen to this bird’s song