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Kidadl Team

SEPTEMBER 10, 2021

21 Amaze-wing Facts About The Eurasian Wryneck for Kids

Eurasian wryneck facts tell us about the Eurasian wryneck distribution.

Do you like woodpeckers, like the pileated woodpecker? Then we have all the information about the Eurasian wryneck bird. The Eurasian wryneck (Jynx torquilla) belongs to the family Picidae and genus Jynx. This woodpecker is a resident of parts of Europe, Asia, and Africa. The Eurasian wryneck range is spread across the northwest Himalayas, northwest Africa, Italy, Corsica, the east Adriatic coast, and Sardinia. This woodpecker has a unique trait where it can bend and twist its head like a snake when it senses that there is a threat to its territory. This is how the bird got its name, wrynecks. The Eurasian wryneck sound is very similar to small falcons, such as the kestrels. This bird breeds around the months of May to June and looks for suitable sites for nesting around that time as well. If you wish to put up nest boxes for them, you can put some in your backyard around this time.

For more relatable content, check out these diamond firetail and Dartford warbler facts for kids.  

Eurasian Wryneck Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Eurasian wryneck?

The Eurasian wryneck (Jynx torquilla) is a species of bird.

What class of animal does a Eurasian wryneck belong to?

The Eurasian wryneck (Jynx torquilla) belongs to the family Picidae and class Aves of animals.

How many Eurasian wrynecks are there in the world?

The European population of this bird species is about 1,350,000-3,200,000 mature birds. The European population takes up about 45% of the world's population of this species. After considering these numbers, the global population of this species has been estimated to be about 3,000,000-7,199,999 mature birds.

Where does a Eurasian wryneck live?

The Eurasian wryneck (Jynx torquilla) is a resident within the range of the northwest Himalayas in Asia, parts of Europe, northwest Africa, Italy, Corsica, the east Adriatic coast, Sardinia, and most of Eurasia, other than some parts in the south. This is a migratory species. The ones living in Asia, specifically the Himalayas, migrate southwards, the ones living around Italy, Corsica, the Adriatic coast, and Sardinia migrate to south Italy and Africa for wintering purposes, and the ones living in Eurasia migrate to Africa, Iberian Peninsula, South Asia, and the Balearic Islands for wintering purposes.

What is a Eurasian wryneck's habitat?

Primary habitats of Eurasian wrynecks (Jynx torquilla) are dry and open forests, clearings, pastureland, and unimproved meadowlands that have trees scattered, not fully grown woodlands, and underdeveloped grasslands. Generally, these birds live at an elevation of up to 0.6 mi (0.97 km). In Europe, mainly in the Caucasus region and the Alps, they live at an elevation range of up to 1 mi (1.6 km). In the southeast, non-breeding birds live at an elevation of 1.1 mi (1.8 km), and breeding pairs in the Himalayas live within the elevation range of 0.9-2 mi (1.4-3.2 km).

Who do Eurasian wrynecks live with?

Eurasian wrynecks are known to be a solitary, reserved, and territorial species. They only come together during the breeding season.

How long does a Eurasian wryneck live?

The Eurasian wryneck species lives for about 2-10 years.

How do they reproduce?

This bird breeds around the months of May to June. Courtship behavior includes these birds swinging their heads towards their partners with their ruffled feathers on the head. Both male and female birds search for a suitable nest site. After choosing a site and building a nest, the female lays about 7-12 eggs on average. Both parents incubate the eggs for the next 11-12 days. The hatchlings are seen to be independent within one to two weeks and fledge at about 20-22 days after hatching.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of the Eurasian wryneck bird, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, is listed as Least Concern. The major threat these birds is facing is climate change. Conservation measures have been taken and many more are planned. 

Eurasian Wryneck Fun Facts

What do Eurasian wrynecks look like?

Eurasian wrynecks (Jynx torquilla) are small-sized birds. They have short, pointed bills, and a long tail. They have an overall grayish body color with buff and brown mottled patterns. A visible dark barred line runs down from the back of their head to their back.

Eurasian wrynecks can twist their heads like a snake.

How cute are they?

This woodpecker can be pretty cute, considering its small size and mottled color patterns. This woodpecker is also usually not aggressive that adds to its charm.

How do they communicate?

These woodpeckers communicate visually, vocally, and with body language. They sing and hiss when they are disturbed or protecting their territory. During this time, they have also been seen to twist and bend their heads 180 degrees like a snake.

How big is a Eurasian wryneck?

Eurasian wrynecks (Jynx torquilla) are about 6.3-7 in (16-18 cm) in length. Their wingspan is about 9.8-10.6 in (25-27 cm). They are around three times smaller than ivory-billed woodpeckers that are about 18-20 in (48-53 cm) in length.

How fast can a Eurasian wryneck fly?

The exact speed at which Eurasian wrynecks (Jynx torquilla) fly is not known. However, they have been seen to fly at a pretty moderate speed.

How much does a Eurasian wryneck weigh?

Eurasian wrynecks are small-sized birds that weigh only about 1-1.8 oz (30-50 g).

What are the male and female names of the species?

Males of this species are called cocks and females of this species are called hens.

What would you call a baby Eurasian wryneck?

A baby Eurasian wryneck woodpecker is called a chick or hatchling.

What do they eat?

Eurasian wrynecks (Jynx torquilla) are omnivorous in nature. Their primary diet consists of pupae, larvae from insects, ants, bugs, butterflies, wormsshrimps, moths, dipteran flies, aphids, and small beetles. They have also been seen to eat woodlice, spiders, eggs of other birds, tadpoles, and sometimes mollusks. Quite rarely, they also feed on berries at times.

Are they friendly?

These birds are not known to interact much with humans. However, they are known to be pretty aggressive to other birds when they are disturbed or defending their territories.

Would they make a good pet?

There are no records of people keeping the Eurasian wryneck woodpecker as a pet. They need a certain environment to thrive and survive. It is better not to take them away from their natural habitat.

Did you know...

Eurasian wrynecks (Jynx torquilla) build their nests in old holes of other woodpeckers or natural cavities in trees. Their nesting habit includes choosing artificial nest boxes and, at times, buildings in China to build their nests. This bird usually builds its nest before it breeds. Usually, the nests are built at an elevation of 3.3-49.2 ft (1-15 m) from the ground.

What is the Eurasian wryneck's call?

The Eurasian wryneck call that can be heard is 'kwia'. Sometimes it sounds loud and harsh, similar to a small falcon, like a kestrel bird. The alarm call sounds like 'tak', and they hiss like a snake when they are defending their territories.

Why are they called wrynecks?

Wrynecks of the family Picidae and genus Jynx get their name 'wryneck' due to their ability to turn their head 180 degrees. They can bend and twist it like a snake when they are defending their territories. The genus name of wrynecks, 'Jynx' from the family Picidae, also comes from their snake-like feature and hissing, which people equated with jinxing in the past.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other birds from our red bird of paradise facts and cardinal bird facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable spoonbill bird coloring pages.

Second image by Ron Knight

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