Woodpecker is a very beautiful and interesting bird, which has a long, hard beak and a strong head.
Their tail is hard and their claws are very tight, so they climb trees very skillfully, both up and down with their heads. Woodpeckers do not like to fly at all, they can use their wings in case of danger or in search of food.
They live in places where there are many sick trees. Such a bird is called a forest attendant. Woodpeckers eat bark beetles, which live in trees and spoil them. This is how they treat vegetation.
Woodpeckers’ varieties and their habitat
This bird is spread almost all over the world. You will not meet it only in icy Antarctica and on some small islands. Woodpeckers also do not live in Australia. On the other continents, wherever there are forests, there are also woodpeckers.
These are mainly forest dwellers. And they settle in all forests: deciduous and coniferous. They can choose the area for their residence, both dry and marshy.
There are many varieties of woodpeckers. According to some estimates, there are currently about 200 of them.
Their color, depending on the species, is different. And, quite significantly. So, there are woodpeckers with green plumage. This species feels great on a horizontal surface, in contrast to others. The largest ones are black woodpeckers. The most gluttonous one is a grey three-folded woodpecker.
In urban parks and squares, you can find a small motley woodpecker. In general, woodpeckers are not as common as other birds, settle near people. Their main habitat is the forest.
Despite the significant differences in size and color, depending on the species, all woodpeckers have several distinctive features that are inherent to all of them. Almost all of them have a red spot on their heads. The motley one has a spot on the back of the head. This feature is probably the most distinctive, by which many recognize it.
Distinguishes woodpeckers and their body structure, some of its features. Thus, woodpeckers are not adapted to being on a horizontal plane, except for one type. On the ground, they are almost impossible to meet. The tail serves as spring support for birds to move vertically (along the trunk of a tree). They move up along the tree, with a slight slope to the side.
The feathers of woodpeckers are hard. Especially – in the tail part. They fit very tightly to their body.
Woodpecker’s legs are short and strong, concave inside. Fortress of their beak fully corresponds to their main occupation – wood chisels. It is very strong. And the tongue is long, thin, rough, with nicks at the end. When extracting food from the trunk woodpeckers can stick it a few centimeters forward (sometimes – up to 15cm.). And, bugs and spiders stick on it. Inside, their tongue wraps around their heads. The woodpecker breathes with one nostril – with the left one. And a long tongue passes through his right one.
The woodpeckers’ menu is quite diverse. Especially in the summer period. They eat berries and seeds of different plants. But their main delicacy is parasitic insects, which they extract from the wood bark. Moreover, healthy trees woodpeckers do not touch. And the sick, shabby woodpeckers are a real find for them. They will eat woodpeckers, caterpillars, and butterflies. They eat woodpeckers and snails, ants, and aphids. Some of them are big fans of ant eggs. To get them, the birds make whole tunnels in ants.
Woodpeckers and dead animals do not squeal. Also, they can be called predators. They eat smaller birds: sparrows, tits. They can ravage their nests, drinking eggs, and stealing chicks, which they will surely eat later. So, the woodpeckers will not give up the meat menu.
In spring, their food becomes tree buds, shoots of young plants. The woodpeckers also drink wood juice. They are especially fond of birch. Suck woodpecker, for example, exclusively eats it.
What do woodpeckers eat in the harsh winter period? As it was already agreed, these birds rarely settle near humans. But, and they can be found near bird feeders in winter. Especially, if there are trees planted in a city or other settlement.
In the forest, woodpeckers in winter eat buds, berries, and seeds left on trees. Sometimes, walking in the forest, you can see on the ground, near the tree, a pile of nut husks. It is a woodpecker who did the work. They stick bumps in the clefts of the trees and peel them off, extracting nuts. Sometimes, woodpeckers reserve them, hiding in wood cracks. Some species make supplies for the cold period. Moreover, in autumn, they will not eat them, leaving them for hungrier days.
Lifestyle of woodpeckers
Woodpeckers are birds that are not migratory. Having fallen in love with the forest area, they will not leave it. This can only happen as a last resort. For example, these places will become impoverished and there will be little food. Cutting down the forest, of course, may also lead to the resettlement of this species of birds. After all, the main life activity of woodpeckers is studying trees.
They spend most of their lives behind this activity. By the way, they live, sometimes more than 10 years. Their minimum life span is from 5 years. Woodpeckers die, most often due to human activity and predator attacks. Woodpeckers can catch and eat, for example, a kite or hawk, or other large birds of prey.
Woodpeckers living closer to the north, however, with increasing cold begin to look for a warmer place. But once they have moved, for whatever reason, they do not go back. And so, they are sedentary. Sometimes, woodpeckers make small trips around the neighborhood, looking for new trees and stumps to explore.
Once they find a suitable tree, the woodpecker is taken on. Having flown up to the beloved plant, he will first sit on the bottom of the trunk. Then, as needed, the woodpecker will move upwards along it in a jumping motion, with a slight slope to the side. But the woodpecker will not simply sit on a branch. It is not adapted to the horizontal position.
The flight of these birds is wave-shaped. They do not fly straight. The trajectory of their air movement fluctuates to the side. The frequency of wingspan is quite high. They fly quickly.
Woodpeckers are singles. In flocks, they do not confuse. But many of them, having chosen a pair and parted after feeding the chicks, to be reunited next year with the same individual.