Woodpeckers belong to the order of woodpeckers and form which unites about thirty genera and two hundred and twenty species. Almost all woodpeckers are either sedentary or nomadic.
Flights, as a rule, make only small distances, and they fly reluctantly. Woodpeckers do not form colonies, but almost always live alone.
Woodpeckers are small to medium sized birds. Their body length varies from eight to fifty centimeters, and their weight is from seven to four hundred and fifty grams. A woodpecker that lives in South America has a weight of seven grams - it is a golden-fronted woodpecker (its body length is only eight centimeters).
The largest member of the family lives in Southeast Asia. This is a great mueller woodpecker. Its body length exceeds sixty centimeters, and its weight is six hundred grams.
The distribution area of woodpeckers covers forest zones. This feature of their life was reflected in particular in the structure of the legs of these birds. Woodpeckers have short legs. Long fingers (two of which are directed forward and two back) are endowed with sharp claws.
Basically, individuals of all species of woodpeckers, when climbing trees, have a support in the form of tail feathers, which are very well developed in them, with the exception of woodpeckers, which form a subfamily.
Woodpeckers have a strong and thin beak. It serves to gouge wood or bark in search of food or when arranging a nest. For these purposes, the beak of the turntables is not suitable. It is too weak and not designed for chiselling wood.
Woodpeckers have a rough long tongue. It serves to extract the detected insect from the holes in the wood. Some woodpeckers eat termites, ants, and even berries, and plant seeds in winter.
Clutch of woodpeckers contains, as a rule, from three to seven eggs of white color with a shiny surface. The incubation period ranges from ten to twelve days. Both the female and the male take part in incubation. Chicks are born helpless and naked.
The distribution area of woodpeckers is huge. These birds are found almost everywhere. They cannot be found except in the circumpolar regions, in Madagascar, New Guinea, New Zealand, Australia, Ireland and on some oceanic islands. In Russia, you can find representatives of fourteen species of the woodpecker family. Of these, the most widespread are Lesser Variegated, Great Variegated, Three-toed Gray-haired, Green Woodpeckers, as well as Pinwheel and Yellow Woodpeckers. Woodpeckers inhabit woodlands. Often these birds are attached to forests. Here they live, equipping their dwelling in the trees, and here they eat. Biological diversity is provided, among other things, by climatic conditions - for example, high relative humidity contributes to abundance. The fact is that there are more trees in humid air that are prone to rotting and fungal infection. Thus, ideal conditions for the existence of insects are created. And already the latter are included in the diet of woodpeckers. There are some species of woodpeckers that have been able to adapt to desert conditions. These are, for example, the Andean Awl-billed woodpecker found in South America and the South African ground woodpecker found in Africa. Almost only on earth does the green woodpecker find its food.
Woodpeckers nest in hollows. This applies to all members of the family. An interesting fact is that some individuals independently hammer hollows (they belong to most species of the family), and some do not. For example, spinnecks are simply not able to hollow out the hollow themselves. However, these birds are able to deepen or expand the existing hollow. As a rule, the construction and arrangement of one hollow takes about two weeks. But the cockade, which is found in the southeastern United States, can construct one hollow for several years.
White-billed woodpecker is an inhabitant of North America. Individuals of the white-billed woodpecker are found in the southeast of this continent. Representatives of the species have mastered vast territories of swampy forests. The coloring is strict. Black is the main color of the plumage of the white-billed woodpecker. There are wide white stripes on the sides of the neck (starting from the back of the head). These stripes connect to each other at the back. Almost the entire wing of the white-billed woodpecker is also white. Representatives of this species are endowed with a beautiful tuft. In the female, it is black, and in the male, it is bright red. The white-billed woodpecker's beak is gray, which is why this woodpecker got its name. The white-billed woodpecker is large. Its body length exceeds half a meter. These woodpeckers live in pairs. Perhaps the established couples persist throughout life. The diet of white-billed woodpeckers, as a rule, includes pupae, larvae and adult beetles; in late summer and autumn, they diversify it with fruits and berries of wild trees.
White-billed woodpeckers breed in March. These birds are extremely careful. During the nesting period, they seek out the most secluded corners of the forest. The hollow is built only in the trunk of a living tree. As a rule, it is oak. The hollow settles at a significant height. Often, the entrance to the hollow is under a branch or a large branch. This is necessary in order to protect the hollow from water flowing into it in rainy weather. The hollow is hammered by both the male and the female. The number of eggs in a clutch varies from five to seven. They have a pure white surface. The eggs are placed directly on the bottom of the hollow. In the south of the range of distribution of white-billed woodpeckers, chicks hatch twice per season. In the northern regions of the distribution range, woodpeckers have only one clutch per season.
The habits of the white-billed woodpecker are special. These birds have an unusually beautiful wavy flight, and during the flight from one tree to another, the white-billed woodpecker first climbs to the very top of the tree and then glides down. At the same time, he describes a smooth arc (does not flap his wings). The white-billed woodpecker rarely travels long distances. To a much greater extent, he prefers climbing tree branches and trunk. Often jumps from one tree to another.
The voice of the white-billed woodpecker can be heard within a radius of one kilometer. White-billed woodpeckers emit a three-syllable, clear, pleasant and sonorous cry of "pet-pet-pet" so often that it is sometimes difficult to answer the question of whether these birds are silent for at least a minute throughout the day.
A careful examination of the trunks by woodpeckers is important for finding food. These birds start looking for food from the bottom of the tree. The woodpecker moves upward in a spiral, examining not only the trunk, but also large branches. Woodpeckers hammer cracks and cracks in the bark, where they find insects. Woodpeckers are very strong birds. They can beat off a sliver twenty centimeters long with just one blow of their beak. When woodpeckers find a dead tree, they knock down a couple of square meters of the surface of its trunk in just a couple of hours.
The beauty of white-billed woodpeckers is the reason for their destruction. People kill these birds for their unusual head. Travelers often crave to buy the head of this woodpecker as a keepsake. For them, this is a kind of souvenir, reminiscent of the places where the white-billed woodpecker lives on swampy soils. Today the white-billed woodpecker has become a rare bird. Moreover, in a significant part of its distribution area, it has already disappeared.
The acorn woodpecker is thrifty. Its reserves are huge. In autumn, acorn woodpeckers gouge thousands of small potholes in the trunks and branches of pines, eucalyptus and oaks. They serve as a place for acorns. Sometimes woodpeckers make similar cells even in telegraph poles. Moreover, the size of woodpecker pantries is amazing. For example, in one of the forests of California California, approximately twenty thousand acorns were counted, which were driven by an acorn woodpecker into the bark of a sycamore tree. Moreover, about fifty thousand acorns were found in the bark of one pine tree.
Acorn woodpeckers live in separate groups. Each group includes from three to twelve woodpeckers and occupies a rather large territory. Extraneous individuals are expelled from the occupied territory, and each member of the group participates in the defense. The whole group harvests acorns together and also uses the harvested stock together as needed. With the onset of spring, the folded group is not split into separate pairs. One common nest is set up, and all females lay eggs in it. The incubation of the clutch also occurs collectively, as well as the feeding of the offspring that has been born. The monogamous lifestyle in acorn woodpeckers is rare and almost always temporary. These are the instincts.
The green woodpecker is distinguished by its beauty. The wings and dorsal side of the body have a yellowish color, the flight feathers are endowed with brown color, the upper tail is brilliant yellow. The tail is brownish-black in color. It is decorated with grayish transverse stripes. The back of the head and top of the head are reddish, while the cheeks and eye area are black. The ventral side of the body of the green woodpecker is pale green. This color is varied by dark streaks. The body shape of the green woodpecker is somewhat similar to that of the great spotted woodpecker. However, the size of the green woodpecker is slightly larger. The body length of the green woodpecker varies from thirty-five to thirty-seven centimeters, and the weight reaches two hundred and fifty grams.
The green woodpecker is an inhabitant of mixed and deciduous European forests. It is found east of the Volga, as well as in the Caucasus and Asia Minor. The green woodpecker prefers to develop territories where forests are replaced by open spaces, and open spaces by forests. Most willingly settles in forests rich in trees of different ages. A variety of insects are included in the diet of these birds, but ants are the most preferred food. The last woodpecker is ready to eat in huge quantities. Green woodpeckers, like other woodpeckers, search for insects on tree trunks, but to catch ants, the green woodpecker is forced to descend to the ground (which, in principle, does not without hunting). Woodpeckers make deep passages inside the discovered anthills. In a similar way, green woodpeckers seek out pupae of these insects.
Green woodpeckers are wary birds. The formed pairs of individuals equip hollows at a distance from each other. In this regard, meeting representatives of this species is not an easy task. Green woodpeckers, however, give away their location during the nesting period, when they begin to make loud cries. Moreover, both the male and the female are screaming throughout the day in the next order. Hollows are carved out by green woodpeckers mainly in old and decaying trees. It can be willows, sedge, aspen. Eggs are laid in May. One clutch contains from five to nine shiny white eggs. Both parents are involved in the incubation of eggs and the subsequent feeding of the chicks.
The ground woodpecker is a medium-sized bird. The body length of the ground woodpecker is about twenty-five centimeters. The ground woodpecker has a rather modest color of plumage - it is mainly characterized by an olive-brown color. The head of the earthen woodpecker is gray.
The ground woodpecker is an inhabitant of the South American territories. He prefers to stick to treeless areas. The ground woodpecker often inhabits ravine slopes, high river banks or outcrops of mountain slopes. This kind of terrain is unusual for most members of the family. The ground woodpecker managed to adapt as much as possible to such living conditions. Representatives of this species can rarely be seen in thickets of dense bushes. On the ground, ground woodpeckers move by jumping, this is where the name of the species came from - these woodpeckers do not hammer the bark and wood of trees, but they are able to make moves on the slopes of hills, etc. They need moves both for arranging a home and in search food. The length of the dwelling of the earthen woodpecker (where offspring are born) reaches about one meter - in appearance it looks like a hole, which at the end forms a small cave. Ground woodpeckers usually cover the bottom of this cave with patches of animal hair. The clutch of earthen woodpeckers contains from three to five eggs. The eggs are pure white. For a significant part of their life, representatives of this species rummage in the ground in order to find food. Ground woodpeckers can find food on the surface of the earth. Their diet includes insect larvae and adults, in addition, spiders and worms diversify their diet.
The golden woodpecker is blessed with bright colors. The color of this woodpecker is quite bright and beautiful. The dorsal side of the body of this small bird (the body length of the earthen woodpecker is approximately twenty-seven centimeters) has a clay-brown color, which is diversified by transverse streaks of black and white upper tail. The ventral side of the body of the golden woodpecker is white, against the background of which black spots stand out. A red stripe outlines the gray head of a golden woodpecker. The trunks of the tail and flight feathers have a golden color. When flying, representatives of this species flap their wings quite often. The distribution area of the golden woodpecker covers the plains of the North American continent. The meat of the golden woodpecker is highly appreciated by hunters.
The red-headed woodpecker is a typical inhabitant of the North American continent. The red-headed woodpecker is relatively small - its body length reaches only twenty-three centimeters. This woodpecker has a dense build. His neck is short and his head is large. In North America, red-headed woodpeckers try to stick to sparse forests. For feeding, these birds often fly to the edges. Sometimes these woodpeckers fly into settlements. In the spring, red-headed woodpeckers rarely build a new hollow. Basically, these birds seek out the existing hollows, clear, "reconstruct" and use them. If several hollows are hollowed out on one tree, then only one of them is engaged again. Red-headed woodpeckers gouge hollows only in old dead trees, while they cannot build a nest in healthy trees.
The red-headed woodpecker has a mischievous disposition. These birds are very restless. They can, for example, bang on the roofs of residential buildings with their beaks and climb on their windows. Red-headed woodpeckers often hide when a person approaches, and then find themselves, drumming on the place where they sit. Thus, they seem to laugh at a person who did not immediately notice their presence. Red-headed woodpeckers can also cause troubles in human economic life. Huge flocks of these woodpeckers devastate orchards, eat berries, etc. These birds are very interesting to deal with apples - with all their might, plunging their beak into the fruit, they pluck it. With this uncomfortable burden, the red-headed woodpecker flies up to the nearest fence, where, after breaking it into pieces, it eats it. Red-headed woodpeckers inflict great damage on grain fields. These birds not only eat the grain, they also trample the ears into the ground or simply break them.
Red-headed woodpeckers are capable of predation. These birds do not mind drinking the eggs they find in the nests of small birds. Having satisfied their hunger, individuals of this species gather in small flocks. At this time, they begin to hunt for insects.Sitting on branches, they look out for flying insects, and then, with the help of turns and pirouettes, seize them. This scene is very interesting to watch. The diet of these woodpeckers includes insects, berries and fruits, as well as grains and seeds of a variety of plants.
The copper woodpecker is an inhabitant of the territories of North America. The distribution area covers the semi-desert western regions of the mainland. The lifestyle of the copper woodpecker is somewhat identical to the lifestyle of the golden woodpecker (in part, these two species are similar in appearance to each other). An important distinguishing feature of the copper woodpecker is its ability to harvest food. This feature is extremely important for those harsh conditions for birds, where the copper woodpecker lives. The lifeless area for almost the whole year, on which the copper woodpecker lives, has a negative impression on any traveler who finds himself here, for whom a meeting with copper woodpeckers can be very joyful and positive. In dry stalks of agaves (in the lower part of the stem, and then above, small holes are made), representatives of this species create a kind of pantry - here the birds hide acorns. If the stalk of the agave is split down, then it will be found that it is all full of acorns, on the supply of which the woodpecker is forced to spend a lot of energy. However, energy and time are needed not only for the construction of such warehouses, but also for finding the acorns themselves. It is possible to get them only on the slopes of the nearest mountains, so copper woodpeckers are forced to make kilometer flights. During the dry season, copper woodpeckers can be seen in areas where agaves form thickets - these woodpeckers are located here. During the rainy season, copper woodpeckers disperse across the valleys - here they find insects, mainly ants.
The sharp-winged woodpecker is a small bird. Its size does not exceed the size of this woodpecker is endowed with a variegated color of plumage. His color is variegated. A distinctive feature of this species is the presence of sharp wings. The distribution area of these woodpeckers covers the territories of Sakhalin, the Ussuri region, the Japanese and southern Kuril Islands, the Korean Peninsula, as well as the northeastern provinces of China. During the nesting period, sharp-winged woodpeckers try to adhere to plantings of soft tree species. It can be poplars, lindens, velvets, etc. in such trees it is easier for woodpeckers to hollow out a hollow or find an existing one. Laying occurs in May. The rest of the time, representatives of this species can be found in flocks of tits. Together with these birds, sharp-winged woodpeckers look for insects, carefully examining the surface of shrubs and trees.
The three-toed woodpecker is an unusual bird. She is very beautiful and colorful. Black streaks adorn the white back of the three-toed woodpecker. The tail is black, bordered with white stripes along the edges. In the female of the three-toed woodpecker, the crown of the head is gray, and in the male it is yellow. A distinctive feature of individuals of this species is the absence of one toe. In three-toed woodpeckers, only one finger is turned back and two are turned forward. The three-toed woodpecker is small. The wing length of an individual varies from twelve to thirteen centimeters. The distribution area of these woodpeckers covers the territories of Eastern and Central Europe, Siberia, and North America. Three-toed woodpeckers prefer to inhabit deep coniferous forests. In the southern regions of their distribution range, they live in mountain forests.
The breeding period for three-toed woodpeckers begins early. It starts in February and lasts until May. At this time, the males are actively knocking on dry branches with their beak, they scream and chirp in a drawn-out manner. Hollows are built by three-toed woodpeckers in spruce and larch (the latter option is preferable for these birds), most often these are burnt or decaying trees. Sometimes you can find the hollow of a three-toed woodpecker even in stumps. Representatives of this species, as a rule, build a hollow at a height of one to six meters. Clutch consists of three to six white eggs. For some time after the chicks fly out of the nest, they roam the forest with their parents. However, the brood soon disintegrates.
The three-toed woodpecker is a voracious bird. And very useful for the forest. Within one winter day, this bird is able to tear off the bark from the spruce that is infected with bark beetles, and the number of larvae of the latter reaches approximately ten thousand pieces! But even if the three-toed woodpecker cannot cope with so much food in a day, the bark beetle larvae will still die in the cold.
The color of different individuals of the red woodpecker varies. The basic tone of plumage of some individuals of this species is really red or rusty red. The coloration of other individuals may be dark chestnut or brown. The tail and wings of the red woodpecker have black transverse stripes. The plumage of representatives of this species is covered with a sticky substance - these are the juices of ants crushed by red woodpeckers. The smell of formic acid permeates the plumage of red woodpeckers. The red-headed woodpecker is a small bird - its body length is approximately twenty-five centimeters. Another interesting feature is the underdevelopment of the thumb. Because of this, the legs of the red woodpecker at first glance seem to be three-toed.
The red-headed woodpecker builds unique nests. Rather, they do not build them at all. Red woodpeckers make their nests in an anthill. True, anthills are also unusual - they are built by large ants directly in the crowns of trees at a height of two to twenty meters from the surface of the earth. But the most amazing thing is that the ants do not touch the hatching female and the eggs themselves, although the female of the red woodpecker easily pecks on the pupae of the ants. Clutch of red woodpecker consists of three eggs. At first, the eggs have a white surface, but constant contact with formic acid does the trick, and the surface of the eggs turns brownish after a while.
Great spotted woodpecker has a variegated plumage color. It is, indeed, a very beautiful bird. The main colors of the plumage are black and white. A distinctive feature of the female from the male is the absence of a red spot on the crown of the head.