I have seen the "stained brown" woodpeckers with some regularity as they
nest nearby and visit my yard often.  In 2007 I had a Hairy that exhibited
what I thought was a real yellow coloration rather than the "dirty brown"
look.  I thought it odd that there was no "discoloration" on the white spots
on the wing feathers if this was really a staining issue. I have posted a
photo here: 
Any thoughts?
Mona Bearor
South Glens Falls

-----Original Message-----
From: Vermont Birds [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Spencer Hardy
Sent: Monday, May 19, 2014 4:30 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [VTBIRD] Hairy coloration

This is a topic that comes up with some regularity, especially in the
spring. When I incurred about the brown Hairy Woodpecker coming to my feeder
a few years ago, I was told it was staining from the nest cavity! This makes
perfect sense in hindsight, as the hole is going to be as small as possible
to keep predators out and we all have experienced the sap and resin that
seeps from recently cut branches. A cool phenomenon!

Spencer Hardy
Norwich, VT

On May 19, 2014, at 2:47 PM, Barbara Powers wrote:

> I think they could be old feathers that have just gotten discolored. I
sometimes see this on the woodpeckers that come to my feeders. It usually is
before they molt and get nice new clean white feathers.
> Barbara Powers
>> Date: Mon, 19 May 2014 13:05:51 -0400
>> From: [log in to unmask]
>> Subject: [VTBIRD] Hairy coloration
>> To: [log in to unmask]
>> I have a male hairy woodpecker that exhibits a golden color on much of
the feathers that should be white. Can it be from diet or some other cause?
>> Sue Wetmore
>> TestSent from my iPod