Hairy woodpeckers occur mainly in mountainous habitats in both conifer and deciduous forests. In the Red Cliffs Desert Reserve, they are most likely observed during winter in some of the higher elevation areas, such as the Red Mountain Wilderness.
They feed upon borers, caterpillars, and other insects. Preferred nesting areas are mountain forests and valley woodlands. Nests are built in dead trees from May-July. The female will build the nest and then incubate the eggs for 11-12 days. The young will leave the nest after an additional 12-13 days. The population trend of the hairy woodpecker is unknown.
The hairy woodpecker is similar in appearance to the downy woodpecker, and they occur in similar habitats. The hairy is distinguished from the downy by its comparatively larger size, much larger bill, and a more obvious “comma-shaped” black mark that extends from the shoulder onto the breast.