The Hairy Woodpecker has a white back, black wings with white mottling, a black and white-striped face, and a black rump.
Males have a red patch at the rear of the crown.
Females lack the red crown patch.
Seasonal change in appearanceNone.
JuvenileJuveniles are similar to adults, but have red foreheads.
HabitatHairy Woodpeckers are found in a variety of forests and woodlands with mature trees.
DietHairy Woodpeckers primarily eat insects.
BehaviorThe Hairy Woodpecker forages on tree trunks, bracing itself against the trunk with its stiff tail.
Hairy Woodpeckers occur across nearly all of the U.S., southern Canada, and parts of Mexico. Its population has increased in recent decades.
Bent Life History
Visit the Bent Life History for extensive additional information on the Hairy Woodpecker.
The shape of a bird's wing is often an indication of its habits and behavior. Fast flying birds have long, pointed wings. Soaring birds have long, broad wings. Different songbirds will have a slightly different wing shape. Some species look so much alike (Empidonax flycatchers) that scientists sometimes use the length of specific feathers to confirm a species' identification.
Wing images from the University of Puget Sound, Slater Museum of Natural History
Hairy Woodpeckers do not forage on slender weed stalks or twigs they way Downy Woodpeckers often do, instead sticking to larger limbs and trees.
Courtship in Hairy Woodpeckers usually includes the pair drumming together in a duet.
VocalizationsThe most common call is a loud, short "peek".
The nest consists simply of wood chips in an excavated cavity in a dead limb or tree.
Number: Usually lay 4-6 eggs.
Will visit feeders for suet and peanuts.