What is a woodpecker: get to know this fascinating bird

Surely you have heard of the woodpecker. In fact, the woodpecker is the character of a cartoon that has become very popular; and many people know it through this reference. However, what is a woodpecker is the answer we will give below about this bird that has become very popular.

What is a woodpecker is the answer we will give you below. In addition, we will tell you a little about what a woodpecker is with respect to other birds, as well as its ecosystem, its habits and some interesting facts about this peculiar bird.

As we already said, the woodpecker became famous due to a cartoon series whose protagonist is, precisely, a woodpecker. But the central issue is, what is a woodpecker, and why it receives this name. You will find out interesting things below.

The woodpecker is a bird that belongs to the family of the picidae. This family of birds is composed of more than two hundred species of different birds. Unlike other birds, woodpeckers do not walk, but hop.

What is a woodpecker? Well, this bird is called a woodpecker because it usually hits tree trunks with its beak. In this way, it can make its nests, but it also marks its territory.

But let’s see a little more about what a woodpecker is, its characteristics and certain habits; in addition, we will see some interesting curiosities about this bird.

What is a woodpecker: everything you need to know

One thing that characterizes woodpeckers is their plumage. This is very striking, as it is white, along with black and red; although there are woodpeckers that have a variation of colors such as yellow and red.

You should also know that there are different types of woodpeckers. In this sense, as we already mentioned, they can vary some characteristics, such as colors; but they also vary in size.

The largest woodpecker measures about fifty-five centimeters; while the smallest ones can measure as little as eight centimeters in length. Among the different species of woodpeckers are the imperial woodpecker, which is the largest; on the other hand, there are the small woodpeckers, which are the ones we have just mentioned, the smallest.

Its head is a fortress. It has a skull that is very strong. This allows it to strike such hard blows without suffering brain damage. In addition, it has three eyelids on each eye. The purpose of these eyelids is to prevent retinal detachment. On the other hand, it has strong neck muscles; and likewise, the beak is also strong, so it can drill trees.

Now, the procedure for making the holes, or drilling, so to speak, the trees is like this: It stands on the tree vertically, using its tail as a fulcrum; this is how the tail would become a kind of third leg, since it serves as a support.

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Speaking of legs, they have two toes forward and two backward. This way, they can hold on very well and can accomplish the whole process of pecking, or drilling.

Habitat and feeding

Now, these birds have a tongue with a kind of barbs, besides being very sticky. This allows them to hunt insects inside the hollows of trees. This is because their tongue can be up to four times longer than their own beak.

Speaking of food, we’ll tell you a little about how woodpeckers feed, and also about their natural habitat.

Depending on the type of woodpecker, they feed mostly on insects. But there are those who look for them on the ground, while others, the vast majority, drill the trees in their search. Thus, they use their beak, first, to form the hole, and then their tongue, to hunt their prey. Their favorite animals: caterpillars and ants. Although they can also eat some fruits.

As for their habitat, woodpeckers prefer to live in wooded areas, as they make their nests in holes in trees that they create themselves. However, due to human encroachment on their habitat, woodpeckers are also able to inhabit urban areas in constructions such as light poles; or the hollows of buildings.

Reproduction of woodpeckers

Let’s see now how woodpeckers reproduce. One thing that characterizes woodpeckers is monogamy. This means that they are able to stay with only one mate all their lives. In fact, they build their nest together and both incubate the eggs, taking turns while the other forages for food.

The female can lay up to five eggs; and the incubation period is up to two weeks. After one month of life, the chicks begin to fend for themselves, leaving the nest.

The woodpecker is very useful, as it helps to keep pests such as termites and worms that can cause damage to trees at bay. In this way, it keeps its ecosystem clean.

Some curiosities that will catch your attention:

Woodpeckers are capable of pecking wood fifteen to sixteen times per second. Faster than a machine gun.

The force of the impact of the blow from its head is the equivalent of one thousand times the force of gravity. This means that it is up to more than two hundred and fifty times the force felt by astronauts at liftoff.

In addition, the woodpecker pecks an average of twelve thousand times a day. And they have a tongue that connects to their nostrils; this is to protect their brain when pecking.

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