Thursday, January 6, 2011

Downy or Hairy Woodpecker?

Downy Woodpecker
Woodpeckers are in the top 20 birds visiting Indiana feeders each winter. Two species that are quite similar are the Downy and the Hairy Woodpecker.

Hairy Woodpecker
Identify the two by the length of their bill. The Downy's bill is shorter (only 1/2 of the width of the head) than the Hairy's (close to the total width of the head.)

Both woodpeckers have white bellies that reflect light back into holes in trees. They can hit a tree with their bills at 13-15 mph.

If you want to attract them to your feeder this winter, get some suet and a feeder that has a tail prop for the birds to balance on. You may have to be patient, but within a couple of days the woodpeckers will find you.

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