Animal Class >> Birds


Woodpeckers are found world wide and include about 180 species. They have a habit of tapping and pecking noisily on tree trunks with their beaks which is considered as a mean of communication to signal possession of territory to their rivals, and a method of locating and accessing insect larvae found under the bark or in long winding tunnels in the tree. Some species of woodpecker have zygodactyls feet, with two toes pointing forward, and two backward. These feet, though adapted for clinging to a vertical surface, can be used for grasping or perching. Some species of woodpecker have only three toes. They have a long tongue which is used to capture insects. Woodpecker uses its beak to create holes for their nests which are 15 to 45 cm. deep.


Facts about Woodpeckers


  1. The woodpecker ranges in size from 7 – 17 inch. in length with brightly contrasting colorations, depending on the species.
  2. The Pileated Woodpecker adults have a red crest, dark bills, white chins with a small and white “eye stripe” that extends from behind the eye to the red crest.
  3. The Red-bellied Woodpecker is sandy brown on the belly, throat, chin, and sides of face; light reddish wash on the belly; black-and-white barring on the back and wings. Both the males and females have red napes (lower portion of the neck or back of head).
  4. The Red-cockaded Woodpecker has a white breast and belly, with black spots on the outer breast. Males have a small red tuft behind the eye that is difficult to see.
  5. The looks more brown overall, does not have the red nape or crown, has a large white rump patch, and has a black bib.
  6. The Red-headed Woodpecker has a completely red head and a very striking black and white body pattern, with black on the tail, outer flight feathers, and main portion of the wing. 
  7. The Downy Woodpecker and the Hairy Woodpecker both have white backs rather than the black and white ladder found on the Red-cockaded Woodpecker.
  8. The has a red forehead and white patches on its wings and rump.
  9. They feed on insects found under the bark and along the branches of pine trees.
  10. They capture food with the help of their long tongue. Their tongue is curled back up around the skull, allowing it to be so long.
  11. They live in open pine forests with large, widely-spaced older trees.
  12. Woodpecker lays 3-5 (usually 4) eggs that both adults incubate for 15-18 days. The male incubates at night and the female during the day.  Both adults care for the young while they are in the nest.  The young are altricial, or naked and blind at birth.
  13. They create 15 to 45 cm. deep hole with its beak to make their nest. They have a stiff pointed tail and short legs.

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