I was surprised to see the mask that hangs on our deck bobbing so wildly in the wind. I'd just been out front and there was no wind. But then I saw there was a woodpecker checking it out. I pulled out the camera quickly and took a picture. Then a Steller Jay chased the woodpecker off and it landed on the railing, so I got another shot just before the Jay swooped once more and off it flew.
Then to the bird book. It was down to a Downy or a Hairy Woodpecker. They look alike. But the key difference is the Downy "has a stubby bill, obviously shorter than the head." And this one has a long bill. Also, the Downy is about 6 1/2 inches and the Hairy is 9". This one was big. And when I measured the mask after looking at the photo, it was clearly about 9 or 10 inches. I also emailed the pictures to my bird expert, Dianne, who confirmed. Unfortunately my other bird expert, Catherine, is no longer with us, but I'm sure from somewhere she's nodding her head that it's a Hairy.
Oh yes. Where's the red on the woodpecker's head? Only the mail has the dark red on the back of the head.
For those who have always wondered, I did a post on why woodpeckers don't get brain damage in July this year.
Note to self: Add wash the kitchen window to the todo list. I really wasn't trying to prevent this woodpecker's friends from knowing where he was this afternoon by blurring his face.