Hairy or Downy… How do You Know?

Birder's News

Have you ever noticed just how much the Hairy Woodpecker and the Downy Woodpecker look alike? Well, they do and not just a little bit, almost identical.

So how do birders figure out which Woodpecker they are spotting? With a bit of patience and practice, you can learn to find the subtle differences between the two.

The Hairy Woodpeckers are about 9 inches long whereas the Downy Woodpecker is only about 6 inches long, but this is never exact and when you see the bird up in the tree you can’t always tell how many inches these birds are!

The bill is sometimes the best way to know which one it is, the Hairy has a bit longer bill than the Downy, who’s bill is a bit shorter and stubbier. But again without having a ruler or the birds side by side, how can you tell…

Below is a photo…

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