Monday, April 18, 2016


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! 


Moonmuser said...

They do look cheerful..very attractive bred, indeed. Very busy!
Gotta feed swarming cats before they attack!

Grizz………… said...


I'm an inveterate woodpecker fan of long standing. Love 'em one and all. Hairys, being less frequently seen here on the riverbank, are thus especially appreciated.

Hope you've gotten the cat herd under control and avoided a feeding stampede.