How to - Wildlife

Birdwatching: Hairy Woodpecker


Hairy woodpeckers (Picoides villosus) are a familiar sight year-round at backyard bird feeders throughout Canada. Reaching 24 centimetres in length, this woodpecker has a white body with a black tail and spotted black wings. The male also has a red spot on the back of its head.

A similarly marked species, the downy woodpecker (P. pubescens), is smaller at 17 centimetres. Fond of sunflower seeds and suet, woodpeckers also forage on rotted tree stumps using their large, heavy bills for wood-burrowing grubs and insects in deciduous and coniferous forests, and wooded swamps.

Photo courtesy of naturespicsonline.com

 

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