Hairy Woodpeckers of Dog Woods of Guemes

Hairy Woodpeckers of Dog Woods

Hairy Woodpeckers of Dog Woods and Downy woodpeckers are sometimes together, moving from tree to tree. The Hairy is the larger and forages along trunks and main branches of large trees. It has a much longer beak than the Downy Woodpecker having a thornlike beak.

This particular Hairy was exploring and flew to a tree previously worked and started listening for movement. Then he began to drill away at the tree in search of larvae. More than 75% of the Hairy Woodpecker’s diet is insects, larvae of wood-boring beetles, bark beetles, ants, and moth pupae in their cocoons. He was persistent in working this one spot. He had wood chips flying everywhere. He would stop, listen and move chips to get a better view of the hole. Then he would take another look and come out with larvae in his beak.

Hairy Woodpeckers of Dog Woods
Listening for movement.
Drilling to get access to insects.
Listening again after drilling.
Checking inside the hole for insects.
Note: Beneath the outer eyelids is an extra eyelid called the nictitating membrane that helps keep the eye moist and clean while protecting it from wind, dust, and hazards. You can see it in this image it is light blue.
Cleaning out the hole for a better view.
Looking for insects in the hole.
Larvae captured!

I am seeing more Hairy Woodpeckers now on the west side of the LeMieux Loop. They scare off easily, so it is best to let the wildlife do all the talking. I find the best time to go is early morning or evening.

Dog Woods of Guemes

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