Hairy Woodpecker – Profile | Range | Sounds | Diet | Feathers | Facts

Hairy Woodpecker

The hairy woodpecker, scientific name Leuconotopicus villosus is a medium-sized woodpecker that’s discovered over a big space in North America. It is roughly 250 mm (9.8 in) in size with a 380 mm (15 in) wingspan. With estimated inhabitants in 2003 of over 9 million people, the hairy woodpecker is listed by the IUCN as a species of least concern. Some ornithologists place this species within the genus Dryobates. In this article, I am going to talk about Hairy Woodpecker call, range, sounds, diet, feathers, facts, etc.

Hairy Woodpecker profile

The bigger of two look-alikes, the Hairy Woodpecker is a small however highly effective bird that forages alongside trunks and major branches of enormous wood.

It wields a much longer bill than the Downy Woodpecker’s nearly thornlike bill. Hairy Woodpeckers have a considerably soldierly look, with their erect, straight-backed posture on tree trunks and their cleanly stripped heads. Look for them at yard suet or sunflower feeders, and hear for them whinnying from woodlots, parks, and forests.

This species and the Downy Woodpecker are remarkably related in the sample, differing primarily in size and bill form.

They usually happen collectively, however the Hairy, a bigger bird, requires bigger timber; it’s normally much less widespread, particularly within the east, and fewer prone to present up in suburbs and city parks.

In its feeding it does more pounding and excavating in timber than most smaller woodpeckers, consuming giant numbers of wood-boring bugs.

Hairy Woodpecker Description

Female of the Great Basin race, orius, which has much less white on the wings than eastern races and has cream-colored underparts

Adults are primarily black on the higher components and wings, with a white or pale back and white recognizing on the wings; the throat and stomach fluctuate from white to sooty brown, relying on subspecies. There is a white bar above and one under the attention.

They have a black tail with white outer feathers. Adult males have a red patch or two side-by-side patches on the back of the pinnacle; juvenile males have red or not often orange-red on the crown.

The hairy woodpecker measures from 18–26 cm (7.1–10.2 in) in size, 33–43 cm (13–17 in) in wingspan, and 40–95 g (1.4–3.4 oz) in weight. It is nearly equivalent in plumage to the smaller downy woodpecker.

The downy has a shorter bill relative to the size of its head, which is, apart from size and voice, one of the best ways to differentiate them within the subject.

These two species usually are not carefully associated, nonetheless, and are prone to be separated in several genera. Another solution to inform the 2 species aside is the shortage of spots on its white tail feathers (current within the downy). Their outward similarity is a spectacular instance of convergent evolution.

As to the explanation for this convergence, solely tentative hypotheses have been superior; in any case, due to the appreciable size distinction, ecological competitors between the 2 species are slight.

Other Recommended Articles

Hairy Woodpecker Distribution and habitat

The hairy woodpecker inhabits mature deciduous forests within the Bahamas, Canada, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Puerto Rico, Saint Pierre and Miquelon, Turks and Caicos Islands, and the United States. Mating pairs will excavate a gap in a tree, the place they are going to lay, on common, 4 white eggs.

Forests, woodlands, river groves, shade timber. Accepts a broad number of habitats so long as giant timber current; present in deciduous, coniferous, and combined forest, groves alongside rivers in prairie nation, open juniper woodland, swamps.

In the southwest and from Mexico to Panama present in mountain forests, principally of pine, but additionally in a cloud forest in Central America.

These birds are principally everlasting residents. Birds within the excessive north could migrate additional south; birds in mountainous areas could transfer to decrease elevations.

Hairy Woodpecker

Hairy Woodpecker Behavior

Hairy Woodpeckers hitch up tree trunks and alongside major branches. They generally feed on the bases of timber, alongside fallen logs, and even on the bottom at instances. They have the slowly undulating flight sample of most woodpeckers.

Hairy Woodpecker Color Pattern

Hairy Woodpeckers are contrastingly black and white. The black wings are checkered with white; the pinnacle has two white stripes (and, in males, a flash of red towards the back of the pinnacle). A big white patch runs down the middle of the black back.

Hairy Woodpecker Feeding Behavior

Forages mainly on the trunks and limbs of timber, generally on vines, shrubs. Energetic in its search, usually probing, scaling off the bark, and excavating into lifeless wooden in pursuit of bugs. Males could forage more intentionally than females, working longer in a single spot.

Hairy Woodpecker Eggs

4, generally 3-6. White. Incubation is by each sex (with male incubating at night time, feminine most of day), about 14 days. Young: Both dad and mom feed the nestlings.

Male could forage farther from the nest, making fewer feeding journeys with more meals every time. Young go away nest 28-30 days after hatching, are fed by dad and mom for a while afterward. 1 brood per year.


Both parents feed the nestlings. Male could forage farther from the nest, making fewer feeding journeys with more meals every time. Young go away nest 28-30 days after hatching, are fed by parents for a while afterward. 1 brood per year.


Mostly bugs. Feeds particularly on larvae of wood-boring beetles, additionally different beetles, ants, caterpillars, and others. Also eats some berries, seeds, nuts. Will feed on sap at broken timber or at sapsucker workings, and can come to bird feeders for suet.

Hairy Woodpecker Nesting

Male and feminine could preserve separate territories in early winter, pairing up in mid-winter, usually with a mate from the earlier year. Female’s winter territory turns into the focus of nesting territory.

Courtship consists of each bird drumming in duet; ritualized tapping at symbolic nest websites by the feminine. Nest website is a cavity (excavated by each sex), primarily in deciduous timber in the east, in aspens or lifeless conifers in the west. Cavity normally 4-60′ above the floor.


These birds forage on timber, usually turning over bark or excavating to uncover bugs. They mainly eat bugs, but additionally fruits, berries, and nuts, in addition to generally tree sap. They are a natural predator of the European corn borer, a moth that prices the US agriculture trade more than $1 billion yearly in crop losses and inhabitants control. They are additionally identified to peck at wood window frames and wood-sided properties that will home prey.

Hairy Woodpecker Identification

You can discover Hairy Woodpeckers by scanning the trunks and major branches of enormous trees, on the lookout for a boldly patterned black-and-white bird. Also, hear for his or her abrupt whinny or their explosive peek name. When Hairy Woodpeckers are foraging busily, you’ll be able to usually hear their energetic tapping if you happen to stand quietly.

Other Recommended Articles

Hairy Woodpecker Facts

Across North America, the Hairy Woodpecker could be discovered from sea stage to excessive within the mountains. In Central America, it’s restricted to increased mountain forests.
Hairy and Downy woodpeckers happen collectively all through most of their ranges. The Downy Woodpecker makes use of smaller branches whereas the Hairy Woodpecker tends to spend more time on trunks.
Hairy Woodpeckers generally comply with Pileated Woodpeckers, and generally seems when it hears the heavy sounds of a pileated excavating. As the pileated strikes on, the Hairy Woodpecker investigates the deep holes, taking bugs the pileated missed.
Hairy Woodpeckers generally drink sap leaking from wells within the bark made by sapsuckers. They’ve additionally been seen pecking into sugar cane to drink the sugary juice.
The oldest recorded Hairy Woodpecker was a male, and not less than 15 years, 11 months old when he was recaptured and rereleased throughout banding operations in New York in 2010. Learn more about blue and yellow macaw.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *