Wednesday, May 11, 2011

#51 Keeping an Eye On..... Downy and Hairy Woodpeckers

Two very similar woodpeckers visit my feeding station - the Downy (left), and the larger, less common Hairy Woodpecker. On a Hairy (below), the bill is longer and considerably bulkier than a Downy’s, and if you look closely, the Downy has several small black bars on the outer tail feathers, while on a Hairy they are plain white. Both of these features help separate these two species.

On the males of both species, I notice that the red nape patch of a Hairy (right) is separated by a black bar (at least in the East), while on a Downy (above), this is not the case.

Keep an eye out for these male woodpeckers, and see if you notice this as well.
all photos © adrian binns

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