Woodpeckers: Diet, Body Structure, Social Life, and Behavior

A bird standing on a branch

Woodpeckers: Diet, Body Structure, Social Life, and Behavior

A bird sitting on top of a pile of hay

Woodpeckers are some of the most prolific wood-eating animals in North America. They’re also some of the most fascinating wood-eating animals in North America! These birds can be found all over, but they usually prefer living near wooded areas where they can find plenty to eat. Woodpeckers will often hammer their beaks deep into wood to get at the insects and grubs hiding inside. This is how they got their name! But did you know that these birds have an amazing ability? When woodpecker’s heads hit wood, it sends vibrations through their skull bones which cancels out any brain damage from the impact!

This article will take a look at 5 facts about woodpeckers you must know. We’ll start by covering the woodpecker’s diet. We’ll then move on to the woodpecker’s ability to avoid brain damage when hammering their beaks into wood. Next, we’ll talk about the woodpecker’s social behavior. Then we’ll end with some fun facts about woodpeckers.

Let’s get started!

1. Woodpecker’s Diet

A colorful bird perched on top of a wooden post

Woodpeckers don’t eat wood, obviously! But they eat insects and grubs hiding inside wood. These wood-eating animals have tongues that are incredibly long and they also have extra-wide beaks. This allows woodpeckers to easily pull out insects from wood.

2. Woodpecker’s Head Is Made For This Job

Woodpeckers’ brains are very different from the brains of most birds, like hawks for example. It can resist the pounding woodpeckers experience while hammering wood. This is because woodpecker’s skulls are constructed differently than most birds. The woodpecker’s brain is recessed so it’s surrounded by air and the woodpecker’s skulls aren’t hollow, but filled with fluid. This, in turn, makes their skull sturdier and the liquid absorbs most of the shocks from the pecking, keeping its brain safe.

Also, when woodpeckers hammer wood, it causes vibrations which send a signal to their brains that counters the impact from hammering. This protects woodpeckers from getting brain damage whenever they peck wood.

3. Woodpecker’s Social Life

Woodpeckers are very social animals which helps them to avoid danger, find food sources, and more easily get wood for their nests. When woodpeckers live near wooded areas, they may even communicate with one another using woodpecker drums!

4. Woodpeckers & Survival

These wood-eating animals have various threats and predators to watch out for. Snakes, owls, and other woodpeckers can eat woodpeckers if they get the chance. Cats and other animals may make woodpeckers a prey item as well.

5. Fun Facts About Woodpeckers

Woodpeckers are some of nature’s more interesting wood-eating animals, even if they don’t eat wood! Some woodpecker species have been recorded pecking wood up to twenty times per second! Woodpeckers will often beat wood so loudly it can be heard from up to a mile away! And woodpeckers have been recorded flying at speeds of over 60 miles per hour!

Woodpecker’s eat insects and grubs hiding inside wood. They also communicate with other woodpeckers using woodpecker drums. Woodpeckers have various predators and threats to watch out for as well as woodpecker fun facts.

Stay tuned next week for another article! We’ll be covering woodpeckers and wood-eating animals in general. This includes woodpecker food sources, woodpecker habitats, and even wood pecking activity! Thank you!

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