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Birds of North America, Vagrant Visitors, Introduced Birds and Possibilities

Hairy Woodpecker

Pic chevelu (nominal)(pacifique)

Picoides villosus

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Species: The Hairy Woodpecker (Picoides villosus) is one of the most commonest and wide spread woodpeckers seen in North America. Almost, identical to the Downy Woodpecker, except for being a larger bird in appearance, with a larger and longer bill compared to the size ratio. It is a shier bird around people and prefers coniferous and deciduous forests.

Distinctions: The male and female are similar in appearance, mostly black and white. Western subspecies from beyond the Rocky Mountains Range, show a darker sooty to browner plumage. Males have two red occipital or nuchal patches on the back of their crowns. Both birds have bold superciliums above their eyes, large white areas from their nape to the tail feathers. Most have large white spots on their wings.

Voice: Single call notes, sounding like "peek", rapid lyrics type chattering, and rapid drumming, using branch stubs, utility poles and even metal objects to define their territories.

Nesting: Four to five white eggs, one to two broods per year, depending on circumstances. Birds peck out their nest in tree trunks, to form cavities for their young, and for their own night time roosting quarters.

Birds of North America
B L W W W Family Latin Name
9.25" 23.5cm 15" 38.1cm 2.3oz 65.2g Picidae Picoides villosus

  • Summer
  • Year Around
  • Winter

Distribution: Found mostly in forests, but can be found in parks, wood lots and towns. Seen from Newfoundland and Labrador to Northern Alaska, down into California and across to Florida, but not as popular in the south. Seen as far south as Panama, and is a resident on the Bahama Islands.

References to Other Bird Sites:

Avibase - the world bird database

ABA - American Birding Association

AOS - The American Ornitholgy Society

ABC - American Bird Conservancy

eBird - TheCornellLab of Ornithology

NA - National Geographic

NAC - National Audubon Society

Classic Collection of North American Birds