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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Hairy vs. Downy Woodpecker size comparison

Downy Woodpecker, m. (left), Hairy Woodpecker, f. (right) on Stokes Select Deluxe Suet Buffet feeder.

Wow, look at the size difference. In this photo you can see the bars on the outer tail feathers of the Downy Woodpecker. This usually occurs on most subspecies of Downy Woodpecker except the "leucurus subspp (s.e. AK-. NE south to AZ-NM) may lack barring on tail." (from The Stokes Field Guide to the Birds of North America, which contains information on all subspecies of birds, no other field guide does). The Hairy Woodpecker usually has white unbarred outer tail feathers (except in a few subspecies).


Mike B. said...

Wow- I had no idea they were THAT different in size. Interesting that they tolerate each other.

Unknown said...

At least your actors got paid in Suet;-) That's a great shot to teach birders the difference between the two! Fantastic!
Happy Holidays to you and thanks for your blog!

Elizabeth said...

Fantastic! The birding books mention a size difference and I've seen both kinds of birds, but like Mike I had no idea.

Gerry Gomez Pearlberg said...

A friend helped me out with this mnemonic device: (D)owny = diminutive, (H)airy = huge.

Joy K. said...

LOVE the picture! Finally, both birds in comparison to a common unit: the suet block.