Hairy & Downy Woodpeckers

hairy woodpecker

Hairy and downy woodpeckers (Picoides villosus and Picoides pubescens)

While these two look alike and are both common visitors to feeders, the downy is a smaller version of the hairy. The easiest way to differentiate between the two species is the length of the bill in proportion to the head. On the hairy, it is substantial, appearing almost the same length as the head, whereas the downy’s bill is only about one-third of its head length. Both nest in tree cavities, so having some dead and dying trees around the property will help keep these birds around throughout the year. Woodpeckers are attracted to suet balls and peanut butter logs. A heavy-gauge metal silo feeder with shelled peanuts has also proven very attractive to downy woodpeckers.

Take a look through the photo gallery below to see some pictures contrasting the physical differences between these two species.

Upcoming Events

Jul
3
Mon
9:00 am Becoming a Naturalist Week 1
Becoming a Naturalist Week 1
Jul 3 @ 9:00 am – Jul 7 @ 3:00 pm
This camp builds on the camper’s ability to encounter and describe the natural world. They will use journals, collecting equipment, and take part in many fun activities that will expand their understanding of how to
Jul
10
Mon
9:00 am Young Ecologists Week 1
Young Ecologists Week 1
Jul 10 @ 9:00 am – Jul 14 @ 3:00 pm
This camp will begin to introduce the campers to the amazing complexity of our native Acadian forests. They will dissect owl pellets, take part in forest restoration planning and plantings and develop their understanding of
Jul
15
Sat
2:00 pm Forest Restoration Workshop
Forest Restoration Workshop
Jul 15 @ 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Forest Restoration Workshop @ Macphail Woods Nature Centre | Vernon Bridge | Prince Edward Island | Canada
The Forest Restoration workshop offers alternatives to clear-cuts and plantations, and other ideas on how to improve the health of Island forests. It starts with a presentation in the Nature Centre and then participants will