Friday, December 21

Friday Bird Blogging: Downy vs. Hairy woodpeckers

One of the really easy mistakes for new birders to make is confusing Hairy and Downy woodpeckers; their markings are similar, but there are some very distinct differences. None of this is news to you guys, and this photo won't be anything new to anyone who's been birding for any amount of time, but I put this together for really new birders as one of the easy ways to resolve confusion between two easy to distinguish birds which look difficult to distinguish at first.

So here's what happened-- by dumb luck, I got two photos in the same day: one of a downy and one of a hairy, in almost the exact same position on the exact same feeder. I then scaled them to a very similar size and stuck them next to one another using Photoshop for easy side by side view.

Can you tell which is which? If not, check out this brief piece I wrote about the distinctions.

See? The difference is a lot easier than you might think.

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