Hairy Woodpecker

Hairy Woodpecker Picoides villosus


  • Size: 7 to 10 inches (18 - 26 cm)
  • Wingspan: 13 to 16 inches (33 - 41 cm)
  • Weight: 1.41 to 3.35 ounces (40 - 95 g)

This woodpecker has white-spotted black wings and black and white streaked faces. It also has a white back and under parts. The sturdy bill is almost as long as the head.


This great bird eats a variety of insects, but prefers wood eating insects. Can be attracted to bird feeders with suet bird food and black oil sunflower seeds.

Sex Differences:

The male has a red patch on the back of its head while the female has a black patch on the back of her head.


During breeding season the male excavates a nest cavity in live wood. Clutch will contain 4 to 5 white eggs. Incubation lasts 11 to 12 days. Very rarely will they occupy a bird house.


Hairy woodpecker map

A Few Things You Probably Didn't Know:

  • If you listen carefully, you can hear this woodpecker "drumming" - loud, continuous, very rapid pecking on resonant surfaces, like dead trees. Drumming helps define their territory and attract mates during breeding season.
  • Will feed from feeding holes excavated by the Pileated Woodpecker. The heavy blows that the Pileated uses to excavate the feeding hole attract the Hairy Woodpecker. It will peck in the deep excavations and take any insects that the Pileated missed.
  • Has the largest range of any woodpecker in North America.

The Hairy Woodpecker is a beautiful wild bird.

More information on how to attract them. 

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