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Kidadl Team

AUGUST 06, 2021

Woodpecker Facts You Won't Believe!

Woodpecker facts about the birds known to dig rectangular holes in trees to find ants

Have you seen a bird pecking into a tree? If yes, then it is most likely a black and white woodpecker. Woodpeckers are the birds that belong to the family of Picidae. The members of this family are known to be found in most regions across the world other than polar regions or Australia and New Zealand. These species are known to live in the forests and habitats that are covered with woodland. There are only a few species that can be found in areas without trees. Woodpeckers are very small in size and are not noticeable from a faraway place when you try to spot them.

Woodpeckers have bills that are very strong and are used for drilling and drumming on trees with long sticky tongues for extracting their food. There are various subspecies of woodpecker birds that can be found in the forests such as the red woodpecker, ivory-billed woodpecker, downy woodpecker, red-headed woodpecker, pileated woodpecker, and more. Here are some fun facts about this fascinating bird species with a habitat in a wide range of forests. Afterward, do check our other articles on keel-billed toucan facts and Guam rail facts as well.  

Woodpecker Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a woodpecker?

A woodpecker is a type of bird that is very small in size and is popularly known for having a bill that is strong for drilling and drumming on trees.

What class of animal does a woodpecker belong to?

Woodpeckers belong to the class of Aves. Woodpeckers are a type of bird that taps on the trunks of the tree in order to forage for their insect prey.

How many woodpeckers are there in the world?

There is no accurate number so as to how many woodpeckers there are in the world. There are a total of 236 species of woodpeckers that are known and the number of woodpeckers is said to vary according to their species and the other factors.

Where does a woodpecker live?

You can find woodpeckers pretty much everywhere in the world. These birds are adapted to a wide range of habitats which include forests, deserts, jungles, and even urban settings. Some woodpeckers even live in treeless areas.

What is a woodpecker's habitat?

A woodpecker's habitat consists of forests, deserts, jungles, and even urban settings. Some woodpeckers even live in treeless areas.

Who do woodpeckers live with?

Woodpeckers usually live alone and come together only during their nesting period when these birds make pairs. This bird species mostly lives in the same territory and prefers to stay alone in forests instead of living in groups.

How long does a woodpecker live?

The average lifespan of a woodpecker is expected to be between 4-12 years, depending on the species. There are certain factors that determine the lifespan of a woodpecker. Woodpeckers that are larger are said to have longer lifespans and may live up to 20 to 30 years.

How do they reproduce?

Woodpeckers drum by tapping their bills against objects rapidly in order to resonate the sound for long distances. Drumming is known to be a courtship behavior that is used to signal to a potential mate. Woodpeckers reproduce by forming breeding pairs during the season of mating. The mating season occurs during the onset of the winter season until spring ends. Once the mating is complete, the female lays eggs and the size of the clutch varies according to the species. The gestation period lasts between 11-14 days.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of woodpeckers is known to be not extinct as the number of woodpeckers keeps changing depending on different factors which affect the lifespan of woodpeckers. There are different species of woodpeckers that may not go extinct quickly.

Woodpecker Fun Facts

What do woodpeckers look like?

Woodpeckers can peck at trees at a speed of up to 20 times a second

Woodpeckers are popularly known for their beaks that are unusually strong amongst birds. These birds use their beaks as chisels in order to dig their nesting holes or hunt for ants and others insects that may be hidden inside trees. The coloration of woodpeckers varies from one species to another, depending on which species the woodpecker belongs to. Most of the males have some red portion on their heads, whereas many species have black and white marks. The bills of woodpeckers are stout and are sharply pointed.

How cute are they?

Woodpeckers are very cute in their appearance. The red present on their head makes them look even more attractive. They look even cuter while they peck on the tree at the speed of up to 20 times a second. These birds are beautiful as well as adorable because of their color and also the coloration that varies from species to species.

How do they communicate?

Woodpeckers have a unique way in which they communicate with each other, which is known as drumming to produce a woodpecker call. These birds use their bills against a hard object in order to create a pattern of the drumming sound, known as woodpecker sounds, which helps them in communicating with each other. Woodpeckers do this to attract a mate or in order to announce their territory.

How big is a woodpecker?

Woodpeckers are not very big in size as they are very tiny creatures that are not even recognizable from a far-off distance. They are not big in size as compared to the other species. The size of woodpeckers will vary from species to species but generally falls within the range of 16-19 in (40.6 - 48.2 cm) along with a wingspan of 26-30 in (66 - 76.2 cm).

How fast can a woodpecker fly?

Woodpeckers species are known to fly at a speed of 21.36 mph (34.37 kph). Woodpeckers fly high and fast when they see a predator approaching them.

How much does a woodpecker weigh?

The woodpecker species weigh very little, around 8.8-14.1 oz (250-4oog), and differ according to their shape as well as size. The weight of the woodpecker is also dependent on their diet and eating habits.

What are the male and female names of the species?

They are simply known as male woodpeckers and female woodpeckers.

What would you call a baby woodpecker?

A baby woodpecker is called a chick.

What do they eat?

Woodpeckers are known to like the larvae of wood-boring insects such as the emerald ash borer. An ivory-billed woodpecker's diet, like the character Woody the Woodpecker, also includes ants, termites, beetles, and their larvae, spiders, bird eggs, caterpillars, and other insects. They also eat small rodents, lizards, fruits, and nuts.

Are they dangerous?

No, woodpeckers are not dangerous for human beings. They cause damage to a tree by drilling and drumming into it. Even though they cause no damage to human beings, they can cause huge damage to property.

Would they make a good pet?

No, woodpeckers do not make good pets as they cause extensive damage to your property. It is illegal to have woodpeckers as pets in your house. Woodpeckers are wild animals and their population keeps changing accordingly which is why it is illegal to keep them as pets. You can care for a sick or an injured woodpecker until you take it to the rehabilitation center.

Did you know...

Woodpeckers get their name from their ability to forage for food with their woodpecker tongue. The tongue of a woodpecker can span up to four inches long to eat its food. They have a glue-like substance on their tongue, which helps them in extracting insects. They have feet that are zygodactyl that is, two toes that point forward and two toes that point backward, and they also have sharp claws on their toes. They have feathers that are stiffened over their nostrils to keep them from inhaling the particles from the wood. Woodpeckers keep the trees healthy by removing insect pests. Woodpeckers tap on the trunks approximately 8,000-12,000 times in a day. They make loud calls and drumming sounds in order to attract a potential mate.

The woodpecker's survival techniques

Woodpeckers make holes in the trees with the use of their beaks in order to look for their food. Their call is known as drumming, which is made to attract a potential mate. Woodpeckers have different adaptations which help them to feed on their favorite foods. As the beak of the woodpecker is strong and sturdy, they can drill the holes in the tree with the use of their beak in order to look for their food. Therefore, woodpeckers survive according to climate conditions.

The symbolism of the woodpecker

The woodpecker is a powerful animal and is also known to be a spirit animal. It stands for strength, opportunity, wisdom, resilience, kindness, and determination. It is the bird that never gives up and tries to see value in the most hopeless of things, which may include a dead tree and makes something remarkably good come out of it. The symbolism of a woodpecker is associated with wishes, luck, prosperity, as well as spiritual healing in most ancient cultures. Woodpeckers are also known to be among the most intelligent birds in the world.

Different types of woodpeckers

There are different types of woodpeckers that differ according to their shape, size, color, habitat, eating habits, etc. Some of the woodpeckers are the great spotted woodpecker, pileated woodpecker, downy woodpecker, black woodpecker, lesser spotted woodpecker, red-headed woodpecker, and many other species of woodpeckers which differ according to different factors. Though they may look similar in their shape, there are slight variations in their body structure. The different types of woodpeckers are said to be found in different parts of the world according to their habitat. Therefore, there are many different species of woodpeckers that differ from one another.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other birds including common kingfisher facts and common buzzard facts.

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

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