photo sharing and upload picture albums photo forums search pictures popular photos photography help login
Markus Lagerqvist | profile | all galleries >> Birds of the World >> Non Passerines >> Woodpeckers tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

Ostriches | Rheas | Tinamous | Megapodes | Chachalacas, Currassows & Guans | Guineafowl | Turkeys, Grouse, Pheasants & Partridges | Screamers | Ducks, Geese & Swans | Frogmouths | Potoos | Nightjars | Owlet-nightjars | Treeswifts | Swifts | Hummingbirds | Turacos | Bustards | Cuckoos | Mesites | Sandgrouse | Doves & Pigeons | Flufftails | Finfoots | Rails, Gallinules & Coots | Cranes | Limpkin | Grebes | Flamingos | Buttonquail | Thick-knees | Oystercatchers | Stilts & Avocets | Plovers & Dotterels | Golden-plovers | Egyptian Plover | Jašanas | Sandpipers & Snipe | Crab Plover | Coursers and Pratincoles | Gulls, Terns & Skimmers | Skuas | Auks | Sunbittern | Tropicbirds | Loons | Albatrosses | Northern Storm Petrels | Petrels & Shearwaters | Storks | Frigatebirds | Gannets & Boobies | Cormorants | Ibises & Spoonbills | Herons, Egrets & Bitterns | Hammerkop | Shoebill | Pelicans | Hoatzin | American Vultures | Secretarybirds | Ospreys | Kites, Hawks & Eagles | Barn Owls | Typical Owls | Mousebirds | Cuckoo Roller | Trogons | Hoopoes | Wood Hoopoes | Hornbills | Rollers | Ground Rollers | Kingfishers | Motmots | Bee-eaters | Jacamars | Puffbirds | American Barbets | Toucans | Ibisbill | Asian Barbets | African Barbets & Tinkerbirds | Honeyguides | Woodpeckers | Seriemas | Falcons & Caracaras | Cockatoos | African & New World Parrots | Old World Parrots

Woodpeckers

The 244 species of Woodpeckers, Piculets and Wrynecks (Picidae) are found worldwide, except for Australia and New Zealand, Madagascar, and the extreme polar regions. Most species live in forests or woodland habitats, although a few species are known to live in treeless areas such as rocky hillsides and deserts. Many species are threatened or endangered due to loss of habitat or habitat fragmentation. Two species of woodpeckers, the Ivory-billed Woodpecker and the Imperial Woodpecker, have been considered extinct for about 30 years.

The smallest woodpecker is the Bar-breasted Piculet, at 7 g and 8 cm. The largest woodpecker was the Imperial Woodpecker, at an average of 58 cm and probably over 600 g.

Members of the family Picidae have strong bills for drilling and drumming on trees and long sticky tongues for extracting food. Woodpecker bills are typically longer, sharper and stronger than the bills of piculets and wrynecks; however their morphology is very similar. The bill's chisel-like tip is kept sharp by the pecking action in birds that regularly use it on wood. Species of woodpecker and flicker that use their bills in soil or for probing as opposed to regular hammering tend to have longer and more decurved bills. Due to their smaller bill size, many piculets and wrynecks will forage in decaying wood more often than woodpeckers. The long sticky tongues, which possess bristles, aid these birds in grabbing and extracting insects deep within a hole of a tree. It had been reported that the tongue was used to spear grubs, but more detailed studies published in 2004 have shown that the tongue instead wraps around the prey before being pulled out.

Many of the foraging, breeding and signaling behaviors of woodpeckers involve drumming and hammering using the bill. To prevent brain damage from the rapid and repeated decelerations, woodpeckers have evolved a number of adaptations to protect the brain. These include small brain size, the orientation of the brain within the skull (which maximises the area of contact between the brain and the skull) and the short duration of contact. The millisecond before contact with wood a thickened nictitans membrane closes, protecting the eye from flying debris. The nostrils are also protected; they are often slit-like and have special feathers to cover them.

Woodpeckers, piculets and wrynecks all possess zygodactyl feet. Zygodactyl feet consist of four toes, the first and the fourth facing frontward and the second and third facing back. This foot arrangement is good for grasping the limbs and trunks of trees. Members of this family can walk vertically up a tree trunk, which is beneficial for activities such as foraging for food or nest excavation. In addition to the strong claws and feet woodpeckers have short strong legs, this is typical of birds that regularly forage on trunks. The tails of all woodpeckers except the piculets and wrynecks are stiffened, and when the bird perches on vertical surfaces, the tail and feet work together to support it.
previous pagepages 1 2 ALL next page
Fine-barred Piculet (Picumnus subtilis)
Fine-barred Piculet (Picumnus subtilis)
Fine-barred Piculet	(Picumnus subtilis)
Fine-barred Piculet (Picumnus subtilis)
Rufous-breasted Piculet	(Picumnus rufiventris)
Rufous-breasted Piculet (Picumnus rufiventris)
Spot-breasted Woodpecker (Colaptes punctigula)
Spot-breasted Woodpecker (Colaptes punctigula)
Arabian Woodpecker (Dendrocoptes dorae)
Arabian Woodpecker (Dendrocoptes dorae)
Arabian Woodpecker (Dendrocoptes dorae)
Arabian Woodpecker (Dendrocoptes dorae)
Eurasian Wryneck (Jynx torquilla)
Eurasian Wryneck (Jynx torquilla)
Black Woodpecker (Dryocopus martius)
Black Woodpecker (Dryocopus martius)
Black Woodpecker (Dryocopus martius)
Black Woodpecker (Dryocopus martius)
Lineated Woodpecker (Dryocopus lineatus)
Lineated Woodpecker (Dryocopus lineatus)
Olivaceous Piculet (Picumnus olivaceus flavotinctus)
Olivaceous Piculet (Picumnus olivaceus flavotinctus)
Red-crowned Woodpecker (Melanerpes rubricapillus)
Red-crowned Woodpecker (Melanerpes rubricapillus)
Spot-breasted Woodpecker (Colaptes punctigula ujhelyii)
Spot-breasted Woodpecker (Colaptes punctigula ujhelyii)
Spot-breasted Woodpecker (Colaptes punctigula ujhelyii)
Spot-breasted Woodpecker (Colaptes punctigula ujhelyii)
Black-cheeked Woodpecker (Melanerpes pucherani)
Black-cheeked Woodpecker (Melanerpes pucherani)
Spot-breasted Woodpecker (Colaptes punctigula)
Spot-breasted Woodpecker (Colaptes punctigula)
Crimson-crested Woodpecker (Campephilus melanoleucos)
Crimson-crested Woodpecker (Campephilus melanoleucos)
Bennett's Woodpecker (Campethera bennettii capricorni)
Bennett's Woodpecker (Campethera bennettii capricorni)
Brown-eared Woodpecker (Campethera caroli)
Brown-eared Woodpecker (Campethera caroli)
Red-throated Wryneck (Jynx ruficollis)
Red-throated Wryneck (Jynx ruficollis)
Green-backed Woodpecker (Campethera cailliautii)
Green-backed Woodpecker (Campethera cailliautii)
Eurasian Wryneck (Jynx torquilla)
Eurasian Wryneck (Jynx torquilla)
White-backed Woodpecker (Dendrocopos leucotos)
White-backed Woodpecker (Dendrocopos leucotos)
White-backed Woodpecker (Dendrocopos leucotos)
White-backed Woodpecker (Dendrocopos leucotos)
Great Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos major brevirostris)
Great Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos major brevirostris)
Great Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos major numidus)
Great Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos major numidus)
Great Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos major numidus)
Great Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos major numidus)
Checker-throated Yellownape (Chrysophlegma mentale)
Checker-throated Yellownape (Chrysophlegma mentale)
Sumatran Woodpecker (Picus dedemi)
Sumatran Woodpecker (Picus dedemi)
Sumatran Woodpecker (Picus dedemi)
Sumatran Woodpecker (Picus dedemi)
Lesser Yellownape (Picus chlorolophus)
Lesser Yellownape (Picus chlorolophus)
Olive-backed Woodpecker (Dinopium rafflesii)
Olive-backed Woodpecker (Dinopium rafflesii)
Olive-backed Woodpecker (Dinopium rafflesii)
Olive-backed Woodpecker (Dinopium rafflesii)
Banded Yellownape (Chrysophlegma miniaceum)
Banded Yellownape (Chrysophlegma miniaceum)
Rufous Piculet (Sasia abnormis)
Rufous Piculet (Sasia abnormis)
Fire-bellied Woodpecker (Chloropicus pyrrhogaster)
Fire-bellied Woodpecker (Chloropicus pyrrhogaster)
Melancholy Woodpecker (Dendropicos lugubris)
Melancholy Woodpecker (Dendropicos lugubris)
Little Green Woodpecker (Campethera maculosa)
Little Green Woodpecker (Campethera maculosa)
Crimson-mantled Woodpecker (Colaptes rivolii brevirostris)
Crimson-mantled Woodpecker (Colaptes rivolii brevirostris)
Speckle-chested Piculet (Picumnus steindachneri)
Speckle-chested Piculet (Picumnus steindachneri)
Little Woodpecker (Veniliornis passerinus agilis)
Little Woodpecker (Veniliornis passerinus agilis)
Golden-olive Woodpecker (Colaptes rubiginosus coloratus)
Golden-olive Woodpecker (Colaptes rubiginosus coloratus)
White-throated Woodpecker (Piculus leucolaemus)
White-throated Woodpecker (Piculus leucolaemus)
Javan Yellownape (Chrysophlegma mentale)
Javan Yellownape (Chrysophlegma mentale)
Grey-headed Woodpecker (Picus canus)
Grey-headed Woodpecker (Picus canus)
Cream-colored Woodpecker (Celeus flavus subflavus)
Cream-colored Woodpecker (Celeus flavus subflavus)
Ringed Woodpecker (Celeus torquatus tinnunculus)
Ringed Woodpecker (Celeus torquatus tinnunculus)
Yellow-eared Woodpecker (Veniliornis maculifrons)
Yellow-eared Woodpecker (Veniliornis maculifrons)
Yellow-throated Woodpecker (Piculus flavigula erythropis)
Yellow-throated Woodpecker (Piculus flavigula erythropis)
Little Woodpecker (Veniliornis passerinus)
Little Woodpecker (Veniliornis passerinus)
Checkered Woodpecker (Veniliornis mixtus)
Checkered Woodpecker (Veniliornis mixtus)
Checkered Woodpecker (Veniliornis mixtus)
Checkered Woodpecker (Veniliornis mixtus)
Eurasian Wryneck (Jynx torquilla)
Eurasian Wryneck (Jynx torquilla)
Laced Woodpecker (Picus vittatus)
Laced Woodpecker (Picus vittatus)
Sunda Pygmy Woodpecker (Picoides moluccensis)
Sunda Pygmy Woodpecker (Picoides moluccensis)
Grey-and-buff Woodpecker (Hemicircus concretus concretus)
Grey-and-buff Woodpecker (Hemicircus concretus concretus)
Black Woodpecker (Dryocopus martius)
Black Woodpecker (Dryocopus martius)
Black Woodpecker (Dryocopus martius)
Black Woodpecker (Dryocopus martius)
Black Woodpecker (Dryocopus martius)
Black Woodpecker (Dryocopus martius)
Black Woodpecker (Dryocopus martius)
Black Woodpecker (Dryocopus martius)
Black Woodpecker (Dryocopus martius)
Black Woodpecker (Dryocopus martius)
Black Woodpecker (Dryocopus martius)
Black Woodpecker (Dryocopus martius)
European Green Woodpecker (Picus viridis)
European Green Woodpecker (Picus viridis)
Lesser Spotted Woodpecker (Dryobates minor)
Lesser Spotted Woodpecker (Dryobates minor)
Middle Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos medius)
Middle Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos medius)
Middle Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos medius)
Middle Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos medius)
Middle Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos medius)
Middle Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos medius)
Black-and-buff Woodpecker (Meiglyptes jugularis)
Black-and-buff Woodpecker (Meiglyptes jugularis)
Cardinal Woodpecker (Dendropicos fuscescens)
Cardinal Woodpecker (Dendropicos fuscescens)
Cardinal Woodpecker (Dendropicos fuscescens)
Cardinal Woodpecker (Dendropicos fuscescens)
Cardinal Woodpecker (Dendropicos fuscescens)
Cardinal Woodpecker (Dendropicos fuscescens)
Red-throated Wryneck (Jynx ruficollis)
Red-throated Wryneck (Jynx ruficollis)
Speckle-throated Woodpecker (Campethera scriptoricauda)
Speckle-throated Woodpecker (Campethera scriptoricauda)
Middle Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos medius)
Middle Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos medius)
previous pagepages 1 2 ALL next page