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Kimery Campbell

Berkley, MI, United States


A Hairy Woodpecker at my feeder had distinctive brown coloring over much of its normally-black feathers. I noticed it first when it was on the far side of a log and I could see only its head, which was clearly brown. It flew closer and I was able to get several pictures (unfortunately through a plate glass window). It looked almost as if it had been splashed with some sort of color-remover. There was some black plumage, but the dominant color was brown, including the head markings. I could not tell if it was male or female. It had no red mark but that may also have been converted to brown.


Brown Hairy Woodpecker

Brown Hairy Woodpecker at backyard suet feeder.

8 replies on “Brown Hairy Woodpecker”

Daniel neron says:

Hello. I found a similar individual in Montreal (Quebec) last week (April 2020). This phenomenon seems not unique. You can have a look to checklist’s photos.

Dianne says:

We have one here in ossipee nh hanging out with the black and white Hairy Woodpeckers, He’s very handsome. Feel like it’s a gift to have him here is the first time I’ve seen one.

Bob W says:

One has been visiting my backyard feeder as well for the past month here in Warren, Maine really cool!

Anne van Elsen says:

On July 29 2022, I saw a chocolate brown Downy Woodpecker, near Yonge and Davisville in Toronto. I’ve never seen that before.

sue says:

Just saw two (mating pair?) at my suet and black oil sunflower feeder. Never saw a woodpecker at the sunflower feeder before! I was so confused by the brown coloration! At first I wondered if some brown capped pygmy woodpeckers had crossed continents and oceans to eat in my backyard!

sue says:

Sighting was in Mill Creek, WA

Joyce DeYoung says:

I just had one at my suet feeder in Devon, Pa. that is very similar to the one in Kimery’s photos. We see quite a few hairys but this is the first brown one.

CP says:

I also have a male downy with brown feathers as others have described. He has been coming regularly to the feeders in the backyard this January 2023.

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