The Uncommon (for us) Hairy Woodpecker

Hairy Woodpecker

An uncommon Hairy Woodpecker at Montrose (click to see the larger version)

Would you believe that Hairy Woodpeckers are uncommon along the Chicago lakefront? It’s true. They’re fairly common in Chicago and Cook County forest preserves but they don’t make it to the lakefront often. One reason for this uncommonness could be that the lakefront parks lack extensive forest, and Hairy Woodpeckers like forest. By comparison, their smaller, look-alike relative the Downy Woodpecker is regular at Montrose. They even breed there. Downys are more flexible in their habitat preferences and can live in more open, parkland habitat, which is what Montrose and Lincoln Park are.