Saturday, January 20, 2007

A Fifth Type of Woodpecker? Meet the Hairy One

Various woodpeckers visit the the Colvin Run Habitat. Four documented types (from smallest to largest): Downy, Red-bellied, Flicker, Pileated. I have often suspected that we have had Hairy Woodpeckers at the feeders, but have never been quite sure. The main reason for the uncertainty is that the Downy and the Hairy differ in only two aspects – the Hairy is larger than the Downy and the Hairy as a proportionately larger bill. Other than that, the Downy and the Hairy look exactly alike.
Yesterday morning, I believe that a Hairy Woodpecker was observed at the new (last of the new) suet feeder (this one is extra long (sort of a double wide) to attract, I hope, the Pileated Woodpeckers). The observed woodpecker was noticeably larger in her body than the normal Downy visitors.
The first photo is of what I believe is the Hairy. In the second photo, the larger Hairy is at the front feeder; the Downy is at the read feeder. I’ll work to get additional photos that show more clearly the size difference.

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