I've been watching a pair of hairy woodpeckers busy themselves in the dooryard as they investigate a fallen box elder and several dying ash trees. While quite similar to a downy, the hairy is a notably larger bird and sports a longer bill.
Hairy woodpeckers are always a treat. A generally common species throughout this corner of Ohio, they're fairly unusual visitors here along the river. Downys, pileateds, red-bellieds, and flickers are the daily fare. Hairys are infrequent visitors—though not as uncommon as yellow-bellied sapsuckers, and certainly not as rare as a red-headed woodpecker.
I expect the reason for their relative scarcity is, in part, due to the woods hereabouts, which is merely a thick river-corridor belt of mature trees. Probably not sufficiently extensive to suite a hairy. My backyard pair were likely curious strays who followed the streamside timber down from a much larger expanse of floodplain woods which begins a half-mile upstream.
Too, when compared to their look-alike downy kin, hairy woodpeckers seem a bit wilder, easier spooked, less tolerant of houses, people, traffic. A thoroughly sensible and quite understandable attitude.
Regardless, I'm glad they found their way here. Hairys make me happy!