Woodpecker. Description, life cycle

Probably each of us met with this amazing forest animals while Hiking through the woods. And even if you are not able to see the feathered, it can be identified by characteristic dry fractional knock.

The habitat of birds is very extensive and includes virtually all terrestrial regions where there is forest area. This is due to the fact that woodpeckers live in trees and never walk the earth.

Forest bird woodpecker. Description, life cycle

For many years, scientists interested in the behavior and life cycle of birds. There was a time when woodpecker attributed to pests and deliberately destroyed. But it soon appeared that this amazing creation is a full – fledged doctor of forest flora, because it destroys thousands of maggots and insects that can decimate entire hectares of forest.


The bird belongs to the family of Piciformes, which includes more than 200 different species. A sizeable part is found in the forest areas of North America, while in the regions you can see more than 10 species.

Among the most famous possible to allocate such:

  • great spotted woodpecker –found in European countries and is considered very common. The size of the bird remain impressive. The wingspan of the adult reaches 50 centimeters.
  • lesser spotted woodpecker – similar to previous species, but its size seldom exceeds the size of a Sparrow;
  • black woodpecker (zhelna) is one of the major representatives of the Piciformes, which is found in our forests. Bird highlights of rowdy behavior and a very active lifestyle. She is able to hollow out large holes and destroyed a large number of harmful insects;
  • green woodpecker – famous for its amazing appearance. But in the behavior of the plumed present excessive caution, because it is not easy to see in the wild;
  • three-toed woodpecker is one of the most unusual species, which lacks one of the toes;
  • the area – also belongs to the family, although behaviors and appearance very different from other woodpeckers. The bird makes the holes and doesn’t climb trees.

A significant portion of the species of woodpecker has a medium size, with the exception of a tiny Zolotonosha small and colorful, which weigh about 10 grams. The largest representatives, such as zhelna able to collect up to 600 grams of weight.

Externally, the bird looks very nice. Tail may have a black and white color, sometimes speckled. On the head is a distinctive red cap. The woodpecker stands out thick, strong and relatively long beak, which the bird trouble-free hollow hollow in any breed. But in most cases she prefers to sick trunks with soft wood.

Excellent ability to climb trees due to the presence of short legs with prehensile toes. In most species the legs have 4 fingers, except for three-toed woodpecker. When searching for food the bird rips off large pieces of bark from the tree, helping other animals find food.


As mentioned above, the feathered doctor of forest flora can be driven almost anywhere there is forest. A significant portion of a species prefers the solitary lifestyle away from signs of human activity. But in the absence of forage bird can relocate and dwell in city parks or private gardens. For this reason the woodpecker is found almost everywhere except the Polar regions and the Australian Islands.

The woodpecker belongs to the group of sedentary birds. He almost makes seasonal migrations and long flights. The section of one adult occupies about two hectares. If food is not enough, birds can fly several kilometers from their homes. After this journey, he rarely comes back. This fact is the answer to the question: woodpecker is a migratory bird or not?

Many species are omnivorous and freely tolerate harsh climate, so the need to fly to warmer climes is simply no.

Features of life

A favorite pastime of all birders and people who enjoy wild nature, is the observation of the behavior of birds in different conditions. If you look at the woodpecker, it does not show any high demands to the conditions of detention. To normally exist, the bird is enough to have access to insects that are found under the bark of trees. The habitat is considered to be the terrain near rivers, lakes and other forest reservoirs. This is due to the fact that these areas present ideal conditions for the prosperity of the colonies of insects.

In rainy period these pests strenuously to destroy the tree, so the woodpecker appears a lot of important tasks. Besides the main task in the search for food, the woodpecker can peck the trunk to create a new socket. He does it almost every year. But a small species of woodpecker, such as the area, prefer the nests of other birds, as their beak is not strong enough.

The unique feature of all woodpeckers is the ability to mix incredibly fast through the trees. Even tiny young birds begin their first steps in flight, and during climbing the trunk. From the nature of the bird has short legs with prehensile toes.

It is important to note that the life cycle of birds has remained unchanged for the year. In the cold of winter you can hear somewhere in the forest a local doctor hollows the trunk, uttering a loud sound.

What eats a woodpecker

The main condition for a stay of the birds in our regions cold winter is food abundance. To superelitnoy group includes only those individuals who are omnivorous and do not have high requirements for the selection of diet. In addition to the main meal in the form of insects, woodpeckers do not refuse from coniferous seeds, nuts and even acorns.

To get from under bark larva breeding, the birds use not only a strong beak, but surprisingly nimble tongue. Its length often exceeds the length of the beak and on the tip are sharp teeth. In one season the forest healer destroys an enormous number of harmful insects which cause great damage to the local flora. Woodpeckers eat almost all insects that catch their eye.

We are talking about:

  • the termites;
  • tracks;
  • ants:

Refuses bird and delicious snails. In the absence of such food during the cold season, a woodpecker can eat berriesand seeds of different trees. If there comes a severe famine, the bird migrates to cities and towns where the forage base is much wider.

Interesting features of woodpecker:

  • science has proven that the woodpecker is the only representative of birds, which present a well – developed musical ear. Sometimes a bird pecking a tree trunk, not in order to feed themselves or to build a nest, but in order to emit a characteristic sound;
  • the tongue of the woodpecker has an impressive length. As already mentioned, it often exceeds the length of the beak and is 10 centimeters. Language is sticky and has unique notches that are used for the extraction of hard-to-reach insects. The language also helps to eat berries and nuts;
  • the woodpecker belongs to the few species of birds that can’t walk on the ground. Due to natural characteristics, namely, the unique toes and fingers, the fowl may not be on solid ground because all his life he spends in the trees.

Based on the foregoing, it is safe to say that the woodpecker is one of the most unique, interesting and beautiful birds that live in our forests, as their decoration.

And though many years of a woodpecker was considered a pest and even destroyed EN masse until scientists have determined that the bird is pecking an old, rotten and diseased trees. They save flora from many diseases, and equip a home for other birds, leaving their nests.

Also they tear whole pieces of bark and open the passages to insects to other birds.

One Comment on “Woodpecker. Description, life cycle”

  1. Care to clear up some misconceptions? You’ve come up with a very eloquent post anyway, so thank you!

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