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

Oct
7
Sat
7:00 pm October Stargazing
October Stargazing
Oct 7 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Learn a little about the night sky and get to know a few constellations. This outing will teach some basics of astronomy and then head out into the dark for naked-eye stargazing. Begins at the
Oct
15
Sun
2:00 pm Autumn Walk in the Forest
Autumn Walk in the Forest
Oct 15 @ 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Autumn Walk in the Forest @ Macphail Woods Nature Centre | Vernon Bridge | Prince Edward Island | Canada
Woodlands are wonderful places at any time of the year, but a forest in autumn is always special. There are still lots of birds around, the witch hazel is blooming, and many plants are showing