Hairy Woodpecker

Dryobates villosus




Woodpeckers (Picidae)

Code 4


Code 6



Egg Color:


Number of Eggs:

3 - 6

Incubation Days:

11 - 15

Egg Incubator:

Both sexes

Nest Location:

4 - 60 feet above ground.

Nest Material:

Cavity lined with chips.


Some migrate



Hairy Woodpecker: Small woodpecker with black-and-white upperparts, white underparts; face is white with black stripes, and black mustache extends onto upper breast to create the "shoulder spur"; tail is black with white outer tail feathers; bill is black, bulky, and longer than the head is wide; legs and feet are black. Northwest birds have gray-brown breast, belly, and rump. Sexes are similar except male has red hindcrown patch. Feeds on insects, nuts, and seeds; common feeder visitor. Flight is undulating with wing flaps alternating with gliding.

Range and Habitat

Hairy Woodpecker: This species is a resident throughout much of North America from subarctic Alaska across Canada and south throughout most of the United States to the Gulf of Mexico and further south into Mexico. Some northern birds migrate south for the winter. Its preferred habitats include deciduous forests.

Breeding and Nesting

Hairy Woodpecker: Three to six white eggs are laid in a hole in a tree. Incubation ranges from 11 to 15 days and is carried out by both parents.

Foraging and Feeding

Hairy Woodpecker: Diet consists of insects, especially gypsy moth caterpillars and pupae, spiders, nuts, seeds, and fruits; forages in trees, bushes, brush piles, and canes.

Readily Eats

Suet, Nuts


Hairy Woodpecker: Song is a sharp rattling. When disturbed flutters its wings and utters a "brrrup" or "kweek", or engages in displacement tapping and pecking.

Similar Species

Hairy Woodpecker: Downy Woodpecker is smaller, has proportionally smaller bill, barred outer tail feathers, and different call.

Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
The ventral part of the bird, or the area between the flanks on each side and the crissum and breast. Flight muscles are located between the belly and the breast.
The upper front part of a bird.
The front part of the head consisting of the bill, eyes, cheeks and chin.
Also called a malar streak, stripe or whisker it is the contrasting color on each side of the chin down through the throat area.
The area between the uppertail coverts and the back of the bird.
The short feathers overlying the median secondary coverts on the top of the wing. They are located near the back and can be seen as the “first row” of feathers on the birds wing. They are also called marginal coverts and lesser secondary coverts.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X