Downy and Hairy Woodpeckers Together

– I’m growing!

That’s what Amie would say if she realized that some months ago she couldn’t tell the difference between a Downy Woodpecker and a Hairy Woodpecker – and that therefore she couldn’t tell which was visiting our bird feeder either – and that now those appellations simply roll off her tongue:

– O yeah, the one on the left, the small one, is the Downy one (female) and the bigger one on the right is the Hairy one (also female).

All it took was seeing the two of them  within a reasonably short span of time and then, for good measure, at the same time.

Downy and Hairy Woodpecker (c) Katrien Vander Straeten, october 2008

The Cornell website – All About Birds – informs me that

The Hairy Woodpecker is attracted to the heavy blows a Pileated Woodpecker makes when it is excavating a tree. The hairy forages in close association with the larger woodpecker, pecking in the deep excavations and taking insects that the pileated missed.

So the Pileated is around somewhere…

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1 Comment

  1. Hi
    I want to ask you what is the food that you put inside the triangle cages. I am not from here and I love birds because for now they are my only friends. I bought some food before for the cage and the birds don’t eat that I don’t know why. It is a winter food that I bought in Walmart. Thank you.
    Your pictures are beautiful.

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