Bird of the Week – Hairy Woodpecker


For Christmas Eve, we’ll have a bird with a splash of Christmas color, the male Hairy Woodpecker.

Male Hairy Woodpecker, Fairbanks

Male Hairy Woodpecker, Fairbanks

Only the males have red on their heads; females are just black and white. The Hairy Woodpecker is Alaska’s largest woodpecker. They are sometimes difficult to find in the forest. Tracking them down by their drumming is the usual approach. But they are enthusiastic about suet feeders, especially in the interior.

Male Hairy Woodpecker, Fairbanks

Male Hairy Woodpecker, Fairbanks

Hairys dig nest cavities in trees. Looks for piles of wood chips around the base of a tree. Once the eggs hatch, the kids are noisy and the nest is pretty easy to find. Like many of Alaska’s woodpeckers, the Hairy is here year-round.

For more bird photos, please visit Frozen Feather Images.

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2 thoughts on “Bird of the Week – Hairy Woodpecker

  1. Some of your finer avian close-ups grace this entry. The Hairy is by no means, however, our largest woodpecker. The Northern Flicker is twice as large (my Sibley’s gives its mass as 130g vs 65 for the Hairy); and even amongst the “Typical” members of the family, Sibley writes of the 66g Black-backed “…even larger than Hairy”, and gives the wing spans of two two as 16″ (B-b) vs 15″ (H).

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