Woodpeckers are birds who are known for pecking at tree trunks. Over 180 species of woodpeckers exist, pecking into trees to find their livelihood. They are equipped with strong, pointed beaks that serve as chisels and crowbars. They also have a very long tongue that is up to four inches long. It is coated with a glue-like substance at the tip to make catching insects easier.
Their diet consists of insects, which is what they peck for, but they also eat fruit and nuts. These unique birds are found all over the world.
Woodpeckers peck for one of three reasons. The first one is called drumming. Drumming is a common woodpecker behavior that is done to either attract a mate or to let others know that the territory is claimed.
The next reason is obvious: these birds pecks for food. Woodpeckers drill into wood to look for various insects like beetles, larvae, and more. The holes they make are often shallow.
The last reason a woodpecker pecks is for nesting. The birds like to create a hollowed out nesting site that requires a large amount of pecking localized to one specific area. The hole created for a nest is much large than those created to find food. They create more damage to wooden structures as well, especially since a woodpecker will likely make several “test sites” before settling in their permanent nest.
For obvious reasons, woodpeckers prefer to live in wooded areas and forests. Because they need wood for more than just food, it is likely that wooden structures like houses can fall prey to these intensive tappings.
Males and females will work in collaboration to build a nest together so that they mate and incubate eggs. A female will lay around four eggs at once, and when the eggs hatch, the parents take care of the young together until they are 25 to 30 days.