Hairy Woodpeckers

by OBDK on January 02, 2023

Hairy Woodpeckers look a lot like Downy Woodpeckers, don’t they? It can be difficult to tell them apart, but here are some key differences:
  • Hairy Woodpeckers are bigger and have about three inches on Downy Woodpeckers1
  • Downy Woodpeckers have black stripes or spots on their tail feathers, Hairy Woodpeckers don’t2
  • Hairy Woodpeckers tend to prefer mature forests with large trees and heavier tree cover3
Just like other woodpeckers we’ve spoken about, Hairy Woodpeckers don’t migrate. They’ll usually stay where they are year-round, but they may move into areas of lower elevation, or slightly south within their region.3
Hairy Woodpeckers will forage for insects, seeds, fruit, and sap from trees. In doing so, they actually provide a great service to trees. They’ll eat tree pests, like bark beetles, and in doing so, control the population and help the trees and forests stay healthy. They also build their nests in cavities in trees, and once they’re done with the nest, it’ll provide a home for other birds or animals.1
Hairy Woodpeckers are monogamous.3 When they reproduce, females will lay 3 to 6 eggs. The eggs are incubated for almost two weeks. Both parents will feed the offspring, and the offspring will set off on their own after a month.1
Learn more about birds with our owl pellet packs! 
You can learn a ton about a bird when you can see what it ate. Owls produce pellets, which we can dissect to learn more about the prey they eat, the food chain, and their environment!
Try your hand with our single pellet pack or try out the new Dissect It! owl pellet lab