Hairy woodpeckers and downy woodpeckers look alike and their ranges overlap and one would think that they would compete with each other for food. Yet they have behavioral differences and live in slightly different habitats, perhaps to reduce potential competition.
For instance, the larger hairy woodpecker excavates nest cavities in live wood while the downy woodpecker prefers dead wood. The hairy woodpecker prefers a forested environment while the downy prefers a more open environment. These preferences reduce competition for food and nesting resouces between these two species.
Last updated: February 4, 2019