FIELD IDENTIFICATION: The Hairy Woodpecker is a year-round resident of Wise County.  All ages, male and female, have black and white speckled and barred wings, and a bold white stripe vertically down the back.  Adult male and females have a patterned black and white face, with males having red on the back of the head.  Juveniles have red on the crown.

The similar but smaller Downy Woodpecker has a distinctly shorter beak, and usually, but not always, has bars on the white margins of the tail.  The Downy's beak is about the length between the eye and the beak's base, while the Hairy's is almost one and a half or twice that.

by Claire Curry