Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Say Hello to Hairy

The morning snow persuaded this Hairy Woodpecker to visit the feeder.

This little one was getting his fill of peanut flavored suet. The Hairy can be distinguished from the Downy Woodpecker by the length of his pecker. The Hairy's beak is as long as his head is wide. The Downy's beak is 1/2 the width of his head.

Woodpeckers peck at 13-15 mph and have larger brains than most birds. The brain completely fills the head cavity so that there is no whiplash effect from pecking.

Woodpeckers have 2 toes forward and two toes back, unlike other birds, so that they can hang on to trees and suet feeders. They eat suet, insects, and nectar.

The Hairy Woodpecker was the 19th most seen bird at winter feeders in the 2008-2009 season in Indiana.     

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