Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Bird of the Week

Hairy Woodpecker (Picoides villosus)

The Hairy Woodpecker is larger of the two almost identical woodpeckers.  The Downy Woodpecker being the smaller one. They are a common woodpecker in North America in mostly medium and large tree forests.   The medium-sized Hairy Woodpecker's diet consists mostly of insects usually those that are in the larvae stage.  One of their favorite snacks are the larvae of wood boring beetles which they peck away at bark and trees to get at.  This makes them a good pest controller and can help the overall health of woodlands.  The Hairy Woodpecker is a frequent visitor to seed and suet feeders too.  Seeds and berries make up about 15-20% of their overall diet. 

 The Hairy Woodpecker excavate a nest cavity in a dead or partially dead tree.  They line the cavity with just a bed of wood chips for the eggs and hatchlings.  Typically, they have between 3-6 eggs and have one brood per breeding season.  

Fun Facts about the Hairy Woodpecker

-The Hairy Woodpecker is known to follow around their larger cousin, the Pileated Woodpecker. They clean up the insects that the larger woodpecker left behind

-The oldest known Hairy Woodpecker was almost 16 years old.  

-The Hairy Woodpecker will sometimes drink some leaking sap from a tree.

If you have a favorite bird you want highlighted send me an email or comment on the Facebook page.   Happy Birding! 

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