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Telling Them Apart: Hairy vs. Downy Woodpecker
April 06, 2020 by Haya Aldoori

With their black, white, and red feathers, distinguishing between Downy Woodpeckers and Hairy Woodpeckers can be quite the identification challenge for many nature lovers.

Hairy Woodepecker by Andrew Yee

Although there are many similarities between these two common woodpecker species, here are some of the key things that you can out look for, according to Project FeederWatch:

Another important factor to keep in mind is that Downy Woodpeckers are much more abundant than Hairy Woodpeckers, especially in suburban areas. Hairy Woodpeckers prefer towering trees and deeper woods, while the Downy Woodpecker can settle for younger trees and herbaceous plants.

Downy Woodpecker by Andrew Yee

Both of these incredible woodpecker species live in High Park and as such, we would like to encourage you to practice telling them both apart on your next visit. We promise it gets easier with time!

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