Did you know these woodpecker facts?
- Most woodpeckers have four toes. Two face forward and two face
backward. This arrangement is called zygodactyl.
- Their short legs and sharp nails make it easier for them to cling to
- A pair of stiff,
centrally located tail feathers allow the bird to
"tripod" itself on trees. This facilitates a solid "platform"
from which the woodpecker can strike the tree with its beak. These
important feathers are not molted until their replacements have fully
- A straight, chisel-like bill is used to excavate holes in trees for
nesting and roosting. It is also used for foraging insects, insect
eggs and larva.
feathers over their nostrils help to keep wood
particles from being inhaled.
Very long tongues allow the birds to "worm" their way in to hard to
reach places. There are hard, saliva coated bristles on the end of
the tongue. These aid in grabbing the prey. The tongue can
also be used for lapping sap.
- Some woodpeckers gather acorns, pine nuts and fruit. Some
gather bugs from tree surfaces. Flickers lap ants off the ground
and probe in to ant hills with their tongue.
- Woodpeckers lay 2 - 8 white eggs. Both parents aid in
incubation. The young are born blind and naked.
- All woodpeckers have a characteristic wing-beat pattern while
flying: 3 flaps and glide, 3 flaps and glide.....
woodpecker facts to Ohio Birds