Hairy Woodpecker

Often confused with the smaller, Downy Woodpecker, Hairy Woodpeckers have a white back with spotted black wings and a black and white striped face. Look for the red crown patch to identify males and a longer bill to differentiate it from the Downy Woodpecker. Regularly seen in forests, woodlands and backyards with mature trees, the Hairy Woodpecker occurs across most of the U.S. Primarily feasting on insects, Hairy’s prefer larger limbs and trees for foraging as opposed to Downy’s who will forage on smaller stalks or twigs. 

Favorite Foods

A perfect balance of peanuts, dried fruit, sunflower, hulled sunflower and tree nuts, WoodpeckerWise® seed is a favorite. BerryWise,® a sweet and crunchy treat is another nutritious and filling seed choice. Don’t forget Shelled Peanuts! Woodpeckers love them.

Perfect Feeders

Hairy Woodpeckers will eat seed from tube and platform feeders, but their top choice is suet feeders. Our Going Green® line is made from recycled milk jugs and is incredibly long-lasting. Try our large cedar ranch feeder with suet cages on either end. It’s great for seed-eating birds AND those who would prefer some tasty suet!  


Hairy Woodpecker nests consist of simple wood chips in an excavated dead limb or tree. They will typically birth between 4-6 white eggs with hatchlings appearing 11-15 days later. Young fledge at 28-30 days after hatching and will associate with their parents for some time. Keep your eyes open and on the lookout for these beautifully patterned birds!

Did You Know?

Hairy Woodpeckers are monogamous. Breeding pairs from previous seasons often re-pair.

Hairy Woodpeckers find their food by feeling the vibrations made by insects moving about. They can “hear” the insects under the barks of the trees. How’s that for some exceptional hearing?