I see far more downy woodpeckers here in Massachusetts, but when I'm at Steve's parents house in Connecticut I see more hairy woodpeckers. There's one that lives in his parents' yard and is always pecking away at the tree in the front yard. Colorado was completely new territory so I didn't know what to expect.
I remember this bird being on the larger side when I took the picture, and you can notice its elongated neck and extensive black on its shoulder. I was curious if woodpeckers were any different out in Colorado. While I was doing research on All About Birds I found a link more information about birds of the Rockies:
Based on this I am pretty confident it was a hairy woodpecker, not only because of the size, but because of the extensive black on its shoulder/back.
This picture came from Cornell Lab of Ornithology's Project Feederwatch Resources. Is anyone else participating in Project Feederwatch? I know James at Coyote Mercury is. I haven't been able to watch much lately. The way Christmas and New Years fell I was out of town on my feeder-watching days (Tuesday and Wednesday), and then this week I didn't see any birds on one of my watching days.
Anyone else have tips for telling the difference between downy woodpeckers and hairy woodpeckers?