I read an article by Rhiannon L. Crain on the differences of 2 types of woodpeckers, the downy and hairy.
Part of the article is featured below:
“……Downy and hairy woodpeckers have similar coloration and behavior. But there are two big differences that separate them.
How to identify them: This is where things get tricky. Downy and hairy woodpeckers have similar black-and-white banding on the wings, a large patch of white down the back and two white stripes on the sides of the head. In males, these stripes on the head are accompanied by large, flashy patches of red, while the females have just the black-and-white patterning.
The main difference between the two species is their body size and beak length. (Look at this picture for a comparison.) Hairy woodpeckers, right, are larger than downy woodpeckers by a couple of inches. Downy woodpeckers are usually no longer than 6½ inches and weigh 1 ounce, while hairy woodpeckers are usually between 7 and 10 inches long and weigh up to about 3½ ounces. The bill of a hairy woodpecker is longer and more dagger-like in appearance. The downy woodpecker’s bill is shorter than the length of its head. They both have cute tufts at the base of their beaks.
Tip: Beak size is a good way to compare the two species. Just remember, “Downy is dainty, and hairy is huge……………”
This is a photo of a downy woodpecker that was on our bird feed today. It is winter but today we enjoyed the warm temperature of 50 degrees. We saw goldfinches and house finches at the feeders. Spotted towhees, sparrows, bluejays and nuthatches also visited the feeders today. I love looking at the birds because they make me happy. I look out my kitchen window at the bird feeders and dream of the promise of spring.
I tell myself that soon there will be many birds singing in my yard. The flowers and shrubs are not far behind. Oh, how I love the nature around us.