I've definately seen downy wp -- there seem to be many by our place in NY. Not so sure about hairy, though. I think I may have spotted one, but they're so similar to the others, I'm not positive. Someone told me to look at the beak, that it's longer than downy's. Seemed as if this was true. Boy would I love to catch sight of a pileated. Judging by some of the holes in trees on our property, I think we've had some at one time or another.
We're lucky enough to live only about 20 minutes from the HQ of the NJ Audubon Society. The people there are very friendly and knowledgeable. When we recently visited, I took the opportunity to join and got a little zippered waist pouch with their logo. It seems to be just big enough for my NJ guide and my reading glasses. The Society runs all sorts of workshops and trips, as well as a basic birding walk every Saturday morning. DH and I tried to attend one but unfortunately we didn't realize they'd be closed that day, as it was Easter weekend (duh!). But we did have a bit of excitement, none-the-less.
Out back of their building, the Society has a number of feeders which attract a nice variety of local birds. We were enjoying a leisurely watch from inside (they have a large window facing and the birds are used to an audience, apparently), when up walked a bear! We've actually had quite a few bears here in NJ the last few years -- there are even a number of people advocating a return to bear hunting, believe it or not. Anyway, he lumbered around and then calmly stood up on his hind legs, walked up to one feeder, tipped it over and enjoyed a nice snack of bird seed. Unfortunately he then proceeded to break off part of it, being a bit rougher than the usual restaurant patrons.
The lady in the office told us that they hadn't seen any bears for a while but in the past some of the feeders had been destroyed. Anyway, it was pretty exciting -- though we decided to then postpone our planned stroll through the nearby walking paths. Bet you have plenty of bears in Canada, eh? Oh, and speaking of Canada, my husband and I are heading up to Montreal this weekend with our son, Thomas, who is just starting to look at colleges (he's a Junior in high school) -- to check out McGill. Any advice or suggestions for our trip?
Too bad about that hawk. Must have been quite a shock!