Hairy vs. downy woodpecker

This is a hairy woodpecker and a downy woodpecker. I took this in my backyard in Briarcliff in May 2018. This is one of the pictures I’m most happy about from an educational perspective. As you can see this birds have very similar black and white coloring and patterns. When you only see one, it can be quite hard to tell them apart. I was lucky enough to have a hairy woodpecker and a downy woodpecker land on my suet feeder simultaneously. The symmetry of their angles provides a great way to contrast their relative size and bill length and pointedness, providing an educational tool for differentiating these commonly confused birds. This picture was the one that was shared most widely online because I think people found the comparison educational.

Leave a Comment