Ornithologist Arthur Cleveland Bent noted in his Life Histories of North American Birds (published 1919-1968), "The Hairy Woodpecker is a much shier, more retiring bird than the confiding little downy; it is also more active and noisier; it usually will not allow such close approach but will dodge around the trunk of a tree or fly away, if an intruder comes too near, bounding through the air in a series of graceful dips and rebounds.". Like Eastern Bluebird, it competes with introduced species such as European Starling for nest holes. The hairy woodpecker is commonly seen, not only in the wilderness but also in our backyards. BirdEden will give you all related information, such as the size, characteristics, and diet of the hairy woodpecker… The hairy looks like a super-sized version of a downy woodpecker, but the best way to tell these two similar species apart is to compare the length of the bill to the length (front-to-back) of the head. Declines that have been noted in many areas are thought to be due to fragmentation of forests, loss of old-growth trees, and nest site competition with European starlings. Its nasal bristle, too, is small and not very prominent. This species especially favors wood-boring insects and their larvae and is often found in areas infested with bark beetles. The subspecies icastus, ranging from southeastern Arizona and southwestern New Mexico south to central Mexico, is similar but smaller. © 1996-2015 National Geographic Society, © 2015- Hairy Woodpecker: Small woodpecker with black-and-white upperparts, white underparts. Specialized stiff tail feathers act as a prop while the bird hammers away at trees in search of insects, which make up more than 75 percent of its diet. The rattle call (“whinny”) is a fast, slightly descending series of these peek calls. The Hairy Woodpecker gets its name from the long, thread-like white feathers that run down the middle of its black back. See the American three-toed woodpecker. As befits its bigger size, the Hairy Woodpecker favors more extensive woods with larger trees; this species may even visit well-wooded suburban backyards and parks. The Hairy Woodpecker gets its name from the long, thread-like white feathers that run down the middle of its black back. Juvenile Hairy Woodpecker by Steve Byland, Shutterstock. On the downy, there are usually black or gray spots along the sides of the white outer tail feathers. All rights reserved. Three additional subspecies of the Great Basin and Rocky Mountain regions (orius, monitcola, leucothorectis) are moderate to large in size and white to very pale buff below; compared with eastern and boreal birds they have reduced white on the back and greatly reduced white spotting on the wing coverts. Look for A familiar visitor to bird feeders, the hairy woodpecker is named for the long, hair-like white feathers on its back. The Hairy Woodpecker is born without the fine down that is often associated with hatchlings. Male and female Hairy Woodpeckers look almost exactly alike, but (as with the Downy) the male signals its gender with a red patch on the back of its head. Adult: male shows red nuchal bar, often divided vertically by black (especially in some eastern populations); red is lacking in female. A few years ago I was alerted to a subtle difference in the head patterns of Downy and Hairy Woodpeckers when I read a short note by Mark Szantyr with a nod to Julian Hough in the journal The Connecticut Warbler. Fairly common; uncommon to rare in the South and Florida. Hairy Woodpeckers have even been known to follow Pileated Woodpeckers, taking insects that the larger birds excavated and missed. It takes a practiced ear, however, to distinguish between the drumming of these two species.". The Hairy is no exception, with strong feet and claws that allow it to cling to tree trunks and branches in almost any position. Polytypic. Hairy woodpeckers express aggression by raising both wings over their back, stretching back their head, and producing shrill cries. Their calls distinguish them also. While similar in color to that of the adult Hairy Woodpecker, the white feathers are often a more dull or creamy color. Another way to tell the two species apart is the lack of spots on the Hairy woodpecker's white tail feathers which are present in the Downy. If you're interested in more hairy woodpecker facts, then look no further. Since woodpeckers don't sing to attract mates, they use non-vocal means such as drumming to attract potential partners and lay claim to territories. On the hairy woodpecker, the outer feathers are pure white. There are 2 additional subspecies on the Bahamas. Newfoundland terranovae is distinctive, with white back reduced and barred (especially in immatures), some black spotting on outer rectrices, and often with fine black streaking on the sides and flanks. Recorded in fall and winter on the southern plains and Pacific coast lowlands well away from breeding habitats. Northwest birds have gray-brown breast, belly, and rump. BIRD OF THE WEEK: February 2, 2018 SCIENTIFIC NAME: Picoides villosus POPULATION: 8.5 million TREND: Decreasing HABITAT: Mature deciduous and coniferous forests. Length 9". You can just make out the dark spots on the side of the downy woodpecker's tail in the photo above. Gets its name from the Red-headed to the Pacific Northwest too, small!, like Brazil 's rare Kaempfer 's Woodpecker Image Collection, https: //www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/birds/h/hairy-woodpecker.html shoulders toward the breast ) a... Larger birds excavated and missed without the fine down that is found over a large white runs... 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