Christopher Taylor Bird Nature Wildlife Mammal Photography
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GALLERIES > BIRDS > PICIFORMES > PICIDAE > HAIRY WOODPECKER [Picoides villosus]    [plot on map]

Hairy Woodpecker (female)
Location: Big Bear (Bluff Lake), CA
GPS: 34.2N, -117.0W, elev=7,592' MAP
Date: October 29, 2022
ID : B13K1667 [4896 x 3264]

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Hairy Woodpecker Picture @
Location: Page Meadows, Lake Tahoe, CA
GPS: 39.1N, -120.2W, elev=6,894' MAP
Date: June 17, 2016
ID : B13K1931 [4896 x 3264]

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Hairy Woodpecker Photo @
Location: Black Hill Trail, Morro Bay, CA
GPS: 35.4N, -120.8W, elev=59' MAP
Date: January 14, 2012
ID : B13K3411 [4896 x 3264]

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Hairy Woodpecker Photo @
Location: Pinos Altos, NM
GPS: 32.9N, -108.2W, elev=6,990' MAP
Date: December 14, 2007
ID : ? [3888 x 2592]

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The Hairy Woodpecker (Picoides villosus) is a medium-sized woodpecker.

Their breeding habitat is forested areas with large trees across most of North America to Central America. They nest in a tree cavity, excavated by the nesting pair.

Adults are mainly black on the upper parts and wings, with a white back, throat and belly and white spotting on the wings. There is a white bar above and below the eye. They have a black tail with white outer feathers. Adult males have a red patch on the back of the head.

It is virtually identical in plumage pattern and coloration to the much smaller Downy Woodpecker, which also has a shorter bill relative to the size of its head. These two species are not at all closely related, however, and are to be separated in different genera (Weibel & Moore, 2005; Moore et al., 2006). Their outward similarity is a spectacular example of convergent evolution. As to why this convergence has evolved, only tentative hypotheses have been advanced; it is interesting to note in any case that due to the considerable size difference, ecological competition between the two species is rather slight.

These birds are mostly permanent residents. Birds in the extreme north may migrate further south; birds in mountainous areas may move to lower elevations.

These birds forage on trees, often turning over bark or excavating to uncover insects. They mainly eat insects, also fruits, berries and nuts, sometimes tree sap.

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hairy_woodpecker's Range Map Click here to see the Hairy Woodpecker's range map!
Listen to the Hairy Woodpecker Song:

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