Hairy Woodpecker

Male Hairy Woodpecker

Hairy Woodpecker
(Dryobates villosus)

Order:  Piciformes
Family:  Picidae

Male Hairy Woodpecker
Photo © Brian Lasenby

Hairy Woodpecker Information

Length:  9 - 9.5"

Habitat:  Deciduous, coniferous, and mixed forests; wooded swamps, orchards, parks. Requires large trees for nesting.

Diet:  Wood-boring beetles and their larvae, caterpillars, ants, and some other insects; nuts, seeds, tree sap, wild fruits and berries.

 Calls and sounds of the Hairy Woodpecker

Preferred Bird Feeder Food

Like many woodpeckers, the hairy woodpecker prefers suet, but will also eat black oil sunflower seeds, hulled sunflower seeds, peanut hearts, and chunky peanut butter.

Suet should be offered in a suet cage. A platform feeder is ideal for the other seeds and peanut hearts. Peanut butter can be spread on pine cones or suet logs and hung near the feeder.

Additional Information

Hairy Woodpecker
Habitat, diet, feeding behavior, nesting, migration, and conservation status. Includes range map, photos, and songs and calls of this bird. (From Audubon Field Guide)

Hairy Woodpecker
(Adult Male at Nest Cavity)

Hairy Woodpecker at Nest Cavity

© Mike Danzenbaker

Hairy Woodpecker
Identification Tips

  • Medium-sized black and white woodpecker
  • Fairly long bill
  • Mostly black head set off by broad white supercilium and lower border to auriculars
  • Black nape
  • White back
  • Black wings with white spotting on coverts and flight feathers
  • White underparts
  • Black rump
  • Black tail with white outer tail feathers
Adult Male
  • Red spot at rear of head

(Credit: U. S. Geological Survey)

Hairy Woodpecker
Breeding Bird Survey Map,

Hairy Woodpecker Breeding Map

(Image credit: USGS)

Range in New England

The Hairy Woodpecker is found year-round in the New England region.

Hairy Woodpecker
Range Maps from Cornell

Hairy Woodpecker year-round range

Includes separate map of sightings.