The Hairy Woodpecker is very similar to the
Downy Woodpecker, which has a
smaller size and shorter bill. The Hairy Woodpecker tends to be less
common, shyer, and more restricted to areas with large trees than it's smaller
cousin. Both are permanent residents in South Dakota. Males
(pictured at the right) have a red patch on the back of their heads, while
females do not.
Habitat: Will use a wide variety of habitats
including forests, woodlands, residential areas, and riparian areas, but
typically requires large trees to be present.
Diet: Mostly insects. Also eats
some seeds and berries, as well as nuts and suet at feeders.
Behavior: Actively forages on the trunks and
branches of trees. They will also sometimes forage in bushes and other
vegetation. They are much more likely to excavate and peel bark from
trees than are the smaller Downy
Nesting: Nesting Info Here
Migration: Generally a permanent resident
throughout its range, although there are indications that some birds at the
far northern edge of the range may move south in the winter.
Bird Feeder: Sunflower seeds, nuts,
suet, peanut butter.
Conservation Status: Widely distributed and
common, but numbers are likely below historical levels in many areas due to
loss of habitat.
Cornell University's "All About Birds - Hairy Woodpecker"
Photo Information: February 4th, 2006 - Perry
Nature Area near Sioux Falls, South Dakota - Terry Sohl
Additional Photos: Click on the image chips or
text links below for additional, higher-resolution Hairy Woodpecker photos.