Information about: Woodpecker

Index | Woodpecker

Note: Information is dated. Do not rely on it.

Woodpecker. The popular name of birds of the family Picidce. Woodpeckers have a slender body, powerful beak, and protrusile tongue, which is sharp, barbed, and pointed, and covered with a glutinous secretion derived from glands in the throat. The tail is stiff and serves as a support. when the birds are clinging to the branches or stems of trees. Woodpeckers are very widely distributed, but abound chiefly in warm climates. They are solitary in habit, and live naturally in the depths of forests; but as they have become accustomed to man, they are now numerous in cultivated fields. Fruits, seeds, and insects constitute their food; in pursuit of the latter they exhibit wonderful dexterity, climbing with astonishing quickness on the trunks and branches of trees, and when, by tapping with their bills, a rotten place has been discovered, they dig vigorously in search of the grubs or larvae beneath the bark. They cut deep holes in the rotten trunks of trees, in which the glossy white eggs are laid. Woodpeckers do much good by destroying the larvae of tree-boring insects.