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Hairy Woodpecker

Picoides villosus
Woodpecker family (Picidae)

Looks similar to the Downy Woodpecker but overall larger body size, 7” long, and larger bill size. Bill is chisel-like. Black back with white stripe down the center, wings black and spotted with white, black-and-white streaked face. Male has a small red patch on nape. Female has no red on head.

Mature forest.

Cavity nester. Excavates its own nest, typically near the top of a dead tree or in a dead limb of a live tree. Eggs are white. Clutch size – 3 to 7 eggs.


Two common calls:  a “pick” and a “rattle.”  The Hairy Woodpecker's note is a sharp ringing “peek!”, sounds more urgent than the Downy Woodpecker.  The rattle has more notes than the Downy Woodpecker and stays on one pitch, not dropping down in pitch like the Downy Woodpecker rattle and often a lower pitch than the “peek” note.  The notes in the rattle are too rapid to count. 

Name Origin:

The common name “hairy” refers to its shaggy and hairy appearance, especially around the head.  The genus name Picoides is from the Latin for “woodpecker.”  The species name villosus is from the Latin for “hairy.”

In the Nature Park:
Year-round resident. Less common than the Downy Woodpecker.