Fun Hairy Woodpecker Facts For Kids | Kidadl


Fun Hairy Woodpecker Facts For Kids

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The hairy woodpecker is a tiny yet strong bird that lives around the trunks and branches of extremely big trees. As we know, woodpeckers have strong bills and the hairy woodpecker is known to wield a much longer bill than the downy woodpecker's thornlike bill. Unlike most woodpeckers, the hairy woodpecker has a serious gaze and a uniform appearance. They have a straight-backed posture on the tree trunks and have a striped head. They usually hang around backyards on sunflower feeders, or they roam around forests, parks, and woodlands as well. Interestingly their life span is quite unpredictable and the oldest woodpecker ever was known to live for 15 years and eleven months!

Keep reading to find out all about hairy woodpeckers, including facts about hairy woodpecker babies, hairy woodpecker adaptations, the hairy woodpecker call, the hairy woodpecker habitat, the hairy woodpecker diet, and more! If you like these hair woodpecker facts, check out our guides to similar species, such as the red bird of paradise or the barn owl to learn more.

Fun Hairy Woodpecker Facts For Kids

What do they prey on?

Insects such as wood-boring beetles, other beetles, ants, caterpillars, and moths

What do they eat?


Average litter size?

3-6 eggs

How much do they weigh?

0.09-0.2 lb (0.04-0.09 kg)

How long are they?

9-13 in (23-33 cm)Wingspan: 13-16.9 in (33-43 cm)?

How tall are they?


What do they look like?

Black and white

Skin Type


What were their main threats?

Feral Cats, Loss Of Habitat, And Snakes, European Starlings

What is their conservation status?

Least Concern

Where you'll find them?

And Orchards, Mature Woodlands With Large Trees, Beaver Ponds, Groves Near A Lake


North America And In The High Mountain Ranges Of Central America









Hairy Woodpecker Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a hairy woodpecker?

The hairy woodpecker is a bird.

What class of animal does a hairy woodpecker belong to?

Hair woodpeckers belong to the Aves class as they are a species of birds.

How many hairy woodpeckers are there in the world?

There are currently 9 million hairy woodpeckers in the world!

Where does a hairy woodpecker live?

The hairy woodpecker lives in forests around trees or near forest edges. They usually choose places where plenty of foraging food is available.

What is a hairy woodpecker's habitat?

The hairy woodpecker is found in large trees, in forests, near swamps, and on lands that are located near rivers or lakes as well. As they are wood-boring birds, these North American birds are always found near trees.

Who do hairy woodpeckers live with?

Hairy woodpeckers are one of the few birds that do not mingle with any other bird, animal, or human. They are solitary birds who choose to live alone.

How long does a hairy woodpecker live?

The average lifespan of a hairy woodpecker is 15 years.

How do they reproduce?

Hairy woodpeckers have their breeding season from January to July. To signal that they want to reproduce, female woodpecker drills into the bark of a tree. On seeing this, the male creates a space to lay their eggs before mating with the female.

What is their conservation status?

Their conservation status is currently Least Concerned as their population is currently growing in numbers.

Hairy Woodpecker Fun Facts

What do hairy woodpeckers look like?

They have a bill as long as their nose and have a white stripe running along their back. Males can be identified by a bright red patch or orange crown on their heads. They have long tail feathers which are black with spots of white on them. They look a lot like a similar species of downy woodpecker in terms of appearance. The outer part of a hairy woodpecker's wings is white or sometimes black, and some wings have spots. A thin white line is found underneath one of their eyes and they have a dark tail.

A hairy woodpecker on a tree trunk.

How cute are they?

These North American birds are quite cute, especially if you are lucky enough to see them using their bill to care out holes in tree trunks! Juvenile hairy woodpecker chicks are particularly cute, especially straight after they hatch from the hairy woodpecker eggs. Have you ever been lucky enough to see one among the branches of the forest?

How do they communicate?

They can produce a screech which is of a high frequency and this is the main way through which they communicate. Have you ever heard this noise whilst exploring your local forests?

How big is a hairy woodpecker?

Hairy woodpeckers are 9-13 in (23-33 cm) long and they have a  wingspan of 13-16.9 in (33-43 cm)

How fast can a hairy woodpecker fly?

Unfortunately, there is not much information available on the speed of a hairy woodpecker.

How much does a hairy woodpecker weigh?

A hairy woodpecker weighs between 0.09-0.2 lb (0.04-0.09 kg).

What are the male and female names of the species?

There are no specific names for male and female hairy woodpeckers.

What would you call a baby hairy woodpecker?

A baby hairy woodpecker bird is called a juvenile when he or she is just born. These juvenile birds can also be called chicks.

What do they eat?

The hairy woodpecker bird has a widespread diet that includes the larvae of beetles, fruits, nuts, small bugs, insects, and seeds. They are omnivorous birds that feed on insects as well as berries and seeds. Most of their diet consists of wood-boring insects such as bark beetles, bees and wasps, and fruit seeds. They are also a common sight at feeders consuming suet and sunflower seeds.

Are they dangerous?

No, they are not dangerous to humans but they do tend to make holes in walls and trees (of course!) so they might damage our property.

Would they make a good pet?

No, they would not make good pets as these are wild birds who need to live among large trees where wood, leaves, and bugs are available. Also, they tend to drill holes in walls, which you wouldn't want happening in your own home! These birds are best observed out in nature, so why not go and explore your local forest to listen out for their calls?

Did you know...

You rarely see an isolated hairy woodpecker since they always roam around with another, they are one of the few birds who are known to roam in pairs.

The hairy woodpecker's survival techniques

The hairy woodpecker chooses to reside on huge trees that are mostly located at the edge of forests in case. This is a carefully considered location, as it allows the bird to go foraging for food if needed. The reason they choose such huge trees is because of a certain kind of beetles that live in the bark of really old and large trees and are a good food source for hairy woodpeckers. These are known as bark beetles. Hairy woodpeckers always choose a particular tree or location where predators cannot get a direct view or sight into the hole they will drill. This is important when the hairy woodpecker lays eggs in its hairy woodpecker nest.

Hairy woodpecker vs downy woodpecker

When it comes to the downy vs hairy woodpecker birds, trying to differentiate between the hairy woodcutter and the downy woodpecker is extremely difficult as both of these birds look very similar. If observed from afar both of these birds have black-colored feathers in the middle of their tail and the outside of their feathers are usually white, so how do we tell the difference between them? If we observe closely, downy woodpeckers have tiny black spots on their feathers, mainly in their white weather. So, whilst the black tail feathers of both birds are the same, these spots are the differentiating factor. The size of both birds also plays an important role in differentiation. The hairy woodpecker is slightly larger and bigger than the downy woodpecker it is known to be around six or more inches larger than the latter.

Another good way to try to identify both of these birds is to look at their beaks, as when you look at the beak of a downy woodpecker, is not that big, but when you look at the hairy woodcutter's beak, it is much longer comparatively. Listening to how both these birds communicate can also tell you which bird species they are. For example, during feeding time a loud, thin, high-pitched scream will tell you that it is a hairy woodpecker while a downy woodpecker gives a slightly gentler scream.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other birds including the secretary bird, or the great green macaw.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our Hairy Woodpecker coloring pages.

The Kidadl Team is made up of people from different walks of life, from different families and backgrounds, each with unique experiences and nuggets of wisdom to share with you. From lino cutting to surfing to children’s mental health, their hobbies and interests range far and wide. They are passionate about turning your everyday moments into memories and bringing you inspiring ideas to have fun with your family.

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