Thursday, February 14, 2008

Hairy or Downy?

That's today's vital question: Hairy or Downy?

Okay, so you're wondering if it's: question #32? As in: When it comes to physical characteristics, you prefer a mate who is...

Waxing option at the Day Spa? (Other than Brazilian.)

That casserole dish of leftovers from your Super Bowl Party in the dark recesses of your fridge?

Nah. It's about peckers.
Hairy or Downy woodpeckers. (What else?)

Tomorrow starts the Great Backyard Bird Count, and I'm gearing up. Have checklist and three fully-stocked birdfeederss (with suet, safflower & sunflower seeds, thistle seeds, and mealworms--more about that tomorrow). Meanwhile, I've got to distinguish between:

the Hairy Woodpecker

and the Downy Woodpecker

According to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology's terrific All About Birds website:
The Hairy Woodpecker is very similar in plumage [to the Downy Woodpecker], but is larger, has a proportionately larger bill, a longer and more distinct black mark on the shoulder, and in most populations, has completely white outer tail feathers. (But beware downies that do not spread their tails and keep the black bars hidden.) For more information on distinguishing these species click here.

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