The Hairy Woodpecker is a beneficial member of the forest, as it feeds on harmful insects, such as wood boring beetles, which it extracts with its barbed tongue.
Black and white striped face (black head with broad white supercilium and lower boarder to auriculars). Sexes similar, except the male has a red patch toward the rear of its head. White underparts. Long black bill. White back. Mostly black wings with a few white spots. Black tail with white outer feathers. This bird shows regional variations, such as in NW CA where it has a pale brown back and underparts, the Pacific NW where the black is replaced by brown, and the Maritime provinces where juveniles have barred backs and flanks. The Hairy Woodpecker is similar to the Downy, except the former is larger, has a longer bill, and has unspotted white outer tail feathers. 9 inches in length.
Deciduous and coniferous forests, mountains.
4 white eggs. The incubation period is 11-15 days. Fledging occurs 28-30 days after hatching. Both parents incubate the eggs. Males brood the eggs at night, and females during the day. The nest is an excavated cavity (hole) in a live tree.