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WHAT IS THE WOODPECKER?


The woodpecker’s strong, pointed beak acts as both a chisel and a crowbar to remove bark and find hiding insects. Woodpeckers are known for tapping on tree trunks in order to find insects living in crevices in the bark and to excavate nest cavities. Some species drum on trees to communicate to other woodpeckers and as a part of their courtship behavior. Woodpeckers tap an estimated 8,000 to 12,000 times per day.



The Woodpecker also has a very long tongue - up to four inches in some species - with a glue-like substance on the tip for catching insects. While most birds have one toe pointing back and three pointing forward on each foot, woodpeckers have two sharply clawed toes pointing in each direction to help them grasp the sides of trees and balance while they hammer. Many woodpecker species also have stiffened tail feathers, which they press against a tree surface to help support their weight.














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Woodpeckers live an average of four to 11 years and can be found in wooded areas all over the world, except in Australia. Two of the more than 200 woodpecker species are listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act. The Red-cockaded and Imperial woodpecker are listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act. Males and females work together to excavate a cavity in a tree that is used as a nest and to incubate eggs for about two weeks. A female woodpecker usually produces four eggs per clutch. When a woodpecker hatches it is blind and does not have any feathers. One parent brings food to the nest while the other parent stays with the young. Woodpeckers leave the nest after 25 - 30 days.

 

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