Monday, December 8, 2008

Bird of the Week - XlV

This weeks' "Bird of the Week" is the Hairy woodpecker. The Hairy woodpecker is one of the most common woodpeckers in North America. It comes readily to feeders where it will eat suet(beef fat) and seeds. The hairy woodpecker is a medium-sized woodpecker, about 7 - 10 inches long with a wingspan of approximately 13 - 16 inches. It's plumage (feathers) are black and white with a plain black back. It's bill is thick and rather long. The male has a red patch on back of it's head while the female has a black patch.

Identifying a Hairy woodpecker from a Downy woodpecker can be tricky. One of the best ways to tell them apart is to look at the proportion of the bill to the head length when viewed from the side. The Hairy Woodpecker's bill is usually greater than one-half the depth of the head. The Downy Woodpecker has a bill less than one-half the depth of the head. Click here to see a good article about telling the two birds apart. To learn more about the Hairy woodpecker and to hear it's song/call, click here.

Photos taken from All About Birds.

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