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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
>