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Bird Gallery

Hairy Woodpecker

Hairy Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker (male)

© Greg Lavaty

Picoides villosus

Family: (Picidae) Woodpeckers

Preferred Habitat: Woodlands and forests

Seasonal Occurrence: Greatest numbers November through April.

Notes: Hairy Woodpeckers are a larger version of the more common Downy Woodpecker. Overall body length is about 2 inches longer. Bill length is much longer than the short stub-like bill of the Downy. The call of the Hairy Woodpecker is generally on one pitch, unlike the descending whinny of the Downy. The male may be told from the female by the small red patch on the back of his head. Generally Hairy Woodpeckers prefer tall, mature trees and are not found on shorter understory plants. A few Hairies breed in our area, but they are predominantly found during the cooler months, November through April. They are difficult to find within the city limits, but occasionally have been spotted at Edith L. Moore Nature Sanctuary in west Houston.
- Susan Billetdeaux