Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Birding in Tennessee: Hairy Woodpecker





You can hear this hard working woodpecker in my backyard right now! For the past 3 weeks he's been making his prescence known with chirps and rapid fire tapping that are so loud and rhythmic that it sounds electronic.





The Hairy Woodpecker is found year round, across the entire state of Tennessee. It's a black and white woodpecker with a white belly and black wings with rows of white spots. The red mark on the back of the head, and the long black bill make it fun to watch.






This bird has a barbed tounge which helps it eat many destructive insects from trees. Small, bristle-like feathers around the beak helps protect it from flying debris (and probably give this bird their 'hairy' name). Hairy is larger than the Downy woodpecker, and has a longer bill.














Hairy woodpeckers will drum on hollow logs, branches or stovepipes in the spring to announce their territory and to attract a mate. They excavate oval-shaped nest cavaties in dead or dying trees. While they're incubating their eggs, the female will take the day shift, and the male will cuddle them at night.








BIRDING is a new series for Edge of the Wildwood that describes some species of birds found in Tennessee. Click on the label below or follow a link for BIRDING and enjoy these wildlife articles!





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