My Twitter Feed

September 18, 2021

Return of Bird of the Week: Hairy Woodpecker

Hairy Woodpecker, Fairbanks, Alaska

The Hairy Woodpecker is one of the most widely distributed and most highly variable bird species in North America. Found from the south slopes of the Brooks Range in northern Alaska to the mountains of Panama, it’s familiar to anyone who has hung up a suet feeder. But in the woods, it’s fairly rare to see a Hairy Woodpecker. For a big bird, that drums frequently, it can be hard to find. They aren’t “hairy,” of course. The name comes from the long, thread-like feathers in the whitish areas on their backs. Those feathers are difficult to see in the…

Bird of the Week – Hairy Woodpecker

Male Hairy Woodpecker, Fairbanks

For Christmas Eve, we’ll have a bird with a splash of Christmas color, the male Hairy Woodpecker. Only the males have red on their heads; females are just black and white. The Hairy Woodpecker is Alaska’s largest woodpecker. They are sometimes difficult to find in the forest. Tracking them down by their drumming is the usual approach. But they are enthusiastic about suet feeders, especially in the interior. Hairys dig nest cavities in trees. Looks for piles of wood chips around the base of a tree. Once the eggs hatch, the kids are noisy and the nest is pretty easy…