Thursday, April 11, 2013
Bird a Day - Downy Woodpecker
Hairy woodpeckers (coming tomorrow) can be really difficult to tell the apart from downys. A hairy woodpecker is beefed up downy woodpecker (hairys are about the size of robins, downys are just slightly bigger than titmice). My old roommate, and fantastic naturalist, Emily Stone, used the following mnemonic:
"What bill??" - downy woodpecker
"What a bill!!" - hairy woodpecker
Note that the downy has a thin narrow bill shorter than the bird's head is; hairys have thick chunky bills longer than the diameter of the bird's head.
Where: Silver maple in my backyard