Saturday, August 20, 2011

Hairy Woodpecker - Texas Birds

A female Hairy Woodpecker, Texas; 6/22/2011.
Another addition to my Life List was the Hairy Woodpecker as one (or more) was quite visible on the property in Texas owned by my Sister and Brothert-in-Law. Hairy Woodpeckers are found throughout the U.S. from coast to coast and from Mexico to Canada although not as common as the Downy Woodpecker. They are very similar in appearance to the Downey, the main difference being its call and the size of its bill. The Hairy's bill is much larger in proportion to its head than a Downy's. So for the past year or two, everytime I saw a Downy (which is 99% of the time), I was hoping that it was a Hairy, and I would study the photos I took, trying to convince myself it was really a Hairy WP so I could add it to my Life List (#319). But until I saw how large the Hairy's bills really are (Above and Below), I knew all of my previous photos were of Downys.

A good look at the Hairy Woodpecker's large bill, Texas; 6/22/2011.
Hairy Woodpeckers are also quite a bit larger (9-1/4" long) than a Downey (6-3/4" long). But for me, until I get more experience, I probably would not be able to differentiate in overall length between the two unless they were side by side. (Below) I included a photo of a Downy so one can see how short its bill is compared to a Hairy.
A female Downy Woodpecker and its much smaller bill, Rockford, IL;11/8/2009.
Sunset of the Day
Sunset in the Blue Ridge Mts, North Carolina; 6/14/2010.

1 comment:

~Val said...

The Hairy's neck looks skinnier, too. I can see the difference when you put them side-by-side (or top and bottom...)