Woodpecker family (Picidae)
Looks similar to the Downy Woodpecker but overall larger body size, 7 ½” long, and larger bill size. Bill is chisel-like and is almost as long as its head. Upperparts black with white stripe down center of back, wings black and spotted with white, black-and-white streaked faces. Male (shown in image) – small red patch on nape. Female (not shown) – no red on head.
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’s note is a sharp ringing “peek!”, sounds more urgent than the Downy’s note. The rattle packs in more notes than the Downy’s and stays on one pitch, not dropping down like the Downy’s rattle and often a lower pitch than the “peek” note. The notes in the rattle are too rapid to count.
“Hairy”, for its shaggy and hairy appearance, especially around the head, more unkempt than the Downy Woodpecker. Picoides, Latin, picus, for “woodpecker”; villosus, Latin for “hairy”.
In the Nature Park:
Year-round resident. Less common than the Downy Woodpecker and less likely to be observed in open areas or in mixed-species foraging flocks.