About us: We own the Wild Birds Unlimited nature shop in East Lansing, Michigan,
a store that provides a wide variety of supplies to help you enjoy the birdwatching hobby.

This blog was created to answer frequently asked questions & to share nature stories and photographs.
To contribute, email me at bloubird@gmail.com.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Know how to tell your woodpeckers apart for #GBBC

Hi Sarah, I thought these might help show people the difference between the Hairy & Downy. I know the first time we saw the Hairy we were shocked he was so large in comparison. Use what you want to :) Holly
Downy or Hairy Woodpecker?
A Downy is feeding on the left side of the Tail-prop suet feeder and a Hairy on the right.
Thank you for sharing these great photos Holly! In a side-by-side comparison it's not as hard to tell the difference between the smaller Downy Woodpecker and larger Hairy Woodpecker. The Downy is about half the size of a Hairy and the Downy’s bill is shorter than its head, whereas the Hairy’s bill is as long its head. The Downy’s name refers to the soft white feathers of the white strip on the lower back, which differ from the more hairlike feathers on the Hairy Woodpecker.
Northern Flicker vs. Red-bellied Woodpecker
Northern Flicker – Both the male and females have a red chevron on the back of their heads, black bibs, speckled chest, and a brown, barred back and wings. The males have a black “mustache”.
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Red-bellied Woodpecker - They are common throughout most of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula year-round. People often call the Red-bellied woodpecker by a list of common misnomers like red-headed or ladder-back woodpecker because of their gleaming red caps and striking black and white barred backs. Since virtually all woodpeckers are black and white with patches of bright colors on various parts of their bodies, the Red-bellied was named for the unique pinkish tinge on the belly, common to both genders. Females have a gray patch on their forehead.

Related Articles:
-How do I stop woodpeckers from pecking on my house? http://bit.ly/KGItqF
-What’s the best suet for Michigan wild birds? http://bit.ly/tcKasp
-Hairy Woodpecker vs. Downy Woodpecker http://goo.gl/WMH31
-How many woodpeckers are in Michigan? http://goo.gl/P2qRv
-How do I Attract Woodpeckers? http://bit.ly/o4CLqI

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