In terms of appearance, woodpeckers stand out from the rest. Their mannerisms, appearance, and way of life are all so distinct and fascinating. We’re going to give you 21 fascinating facts about woodpeckers in this article to help you understand these fascinating birds.
17 INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT WOODPECKERS
1. WOODPECKERS DON’T GET HEADACHES
The hyoid bone, found in the skulls of woodpeckers, is a unique bone. Woodpeckers’ skulls are protected by a unique bone that wraps all around them and is found inside their skulls.
When they repeatedly smash their heads against a tree, sometimes for hours, this protects them from “headaches.”
2. WOODPECKERS USUALLY PREFER DEAD TREES
While most woodpeckers can bore a hole through a live tree, they often choose dead trees. Dead or decaying trees with soft heartwood, which makes excavating their nest holes easier, are preferred by woodpeckers. Moreover, several sorts of larvae and insects may be hiding inside the tree if the wood is soft, giving them more food options.
3. SOMETIMES WOODPECKERS FEED AT HUMMINGBIRD FEEDERS
Sweet hummingbird nectar may also be attractive to woodpeckers. I had more Downy Woodpeckers than actual hummingbirds at my hummingbird feeders this spring and summer!
4. A GROUP OF WOODPECKERS IS CALLED A DESCENT
When it comes to a collection of birds, or a flock, each kind gets its own name. A gang of woodpeckers is dubbed a “descent,” much as a flock of crows is dubbed a murder or a flock of hawks is dubbed a kettle.
5. WOODPECKERS HAVE REALLY LONG TONGUES
Only a few bird species have tongues that are exceptionally lengthy and wrap around their eye sockets, giving them the ability to stretch them out farther than other birds.
Among the birds with long tongues are woodpeckers, hummingbirds, and even orioles. All three of these species of birds can sip from hummingbird feeders thanks to these unique characteristics. Woodpeckers’ tongues may grow up to 4 inches long in certain species!
6. ACORN WOODPECKERS HAVE AN ADVANCED SOCIAL SYSTEM
Woodpeckers are mostly solitary birds, but the Acorn Woodpecker has a complex social and family structure that other woodpeckers.
Acorn Woodpeckers, unlike other kinds of woodpeckers, prefer to live in packs of 10-16 other birds. They’ll work as a team to keep their food storehouses safe by employing warning signals and conversation with one another, and they’ll do it cooperatively inside the group.
7. PILEATED WOODPECKERS ARE THE LARGEST WOODPECKERS IN NORTH AMERICA
Pileated Woodpeckers are the most common, unless you include the Ivory-billed Woodpecker, which is still considered extinct but has not yet been declared extinct. They’re roughly the size of crows, measuring around 16 to 19 inches long.
Though people occasionally refer to them as Red-headed Woodpeckers, they are difficult to mistake for other kinds of woodpeckers because of their size and appearance.
8. WOODPECKERS DON’T PECK AT NIGHT
Woodpeckers are mostly quiet because they are diurnal animals that roost at night. Despite this, they might be up hammering on the side of your home at the crack of dawn! So if you’re having a woodpecker issue, the knowledge that you’ll be able to sleep at night is very helpful.
9. SAPSUCKERS DON’T ACTUALLY SUCK THE SAP, THEY LICK IT
As I previously stated, sapsuckers have an unusually long tongue, as do all members of the woodpecker family. Sapsucker types, on the other hand, bore sapwells in trees before inserting their long tongues inside and licking and lapping at the sap.
10. WOODPECKERS DON’T EAT WOOD
Woodpeckers don’t eat wood, like beavers do, despite the fact that many people believe they do. Woodpeckers utilize their beaks to dig nesting holes and extract insects and insect larvae by simply using them as a tool.
11. SOME TYPES OF WOODPECKERS WILL EAT BABY BIRDS
Several woodpecker species, such as the Great Spotted Woodpecker, are omnivorous and may devour other bird eggs or infants on rare occasions. A baby bird’s brains were eaten by a Gila Woodpecker after it was caught on camera killing and eating them.
Woodpeckers, on the other hand, prefer to keep to themselves and are not aggressive, but they will fiercely defend themselves and their own young if necessary.
12. THERE ARE OVER 200 SPECIES OF WOODPECKERS IN THE WORLD
Although no one seems to know precisely how many species make up the Picidae family, it is clear that there are well over 200. According to Brittanica.com, 210 species have been documented, whereas the International Ornithological Society claims that 236 species have been found. Other sources, such as PSU.edu, state that there are up to 300 of them.
13. WOODPECKERS HAVE SPECIAL CLIMBING FEET
The Zygodactyl feet of most woodpeckers are particularly suited for climbing. The woodpecker’s Zygodactyl feet feature two front toes and two back toes, allowing it to hold the tree in a way that enables it to make very quick vertical and horizontal movements as well as more pecking power.
14. SOME WOODPECKERS EVEN LIVE IN CACTI
In parts of Southern California, Nevada, and Arizona, the Gila Woodpecker lives in the Sonoran Desert. The tough woodpeckers have learnt to live in the desert and will build their nests among the saguaros.
When fully hydrated, the Saguaro Cactus can live up to 200 years, grow to be 50 feet tall, and weigh 5000 pounds. The birds will eat the fruit that the cactus bares, in addition to providing shelter for the Gila Woodpeckers.
15. WOODPECKERS PECK ON GUTTERS BECAUSE THEY LIKE THE SOUND
Woodpeckers beat on metal gutters frequently, and the sound can be quite loud. They do it for a variety of reasons, the most common of which is to claim their territory or attract a mate. As a result, you might have a breeding pair nearby if you hear or see your gutters being drummed upon by a woodpecker.
16. A WOODPECKER’S BEAK NEVER WEARS DOWN
Woodpeckers have unique regenerative cells at the end of their beaks, which allows them to continuously regenerate if needed, unlike other birds. Woodpeckers are thought to peck up to 12,000 times in a single day, with extremely sharp chisel-like beaks. The woodpecker has yet again adapted itself in a unique way.
17. IN SOME PLACES, WOODPECKERS ARE ASSOCIATED WITH BAD LUCK AND DEATH
Woodpeckers are frequently linked to wisdom and intelligence in eastern Slavic cultures, however they may also symbolize death or bad luck. The death of a person is said to be announced by a woodpecker’s drumming.
So there you have it, a spiritual interpretation of the drumming on your gutters. The drumming, on the other hand, is for communication as we said before.