Best 20 Woodpeckers birds Facts, Weight, Habitat, Diet

Woodpeckers birds:

Woodpeckers are the birds that can be found in almost every region except New Zealand, Australia, New Guinea, Madagascar, North and South poles.

They belong to family “Picidae”. They are found in forests but few are also found in unwooded areas.

Woodpeckers birds Scientific name: 

The scientific name of woodpecker is “Picidae”.

Total no. of woodpecker species: 

The International Ornithological Congress recorded 236 species of woodpeckers.

Woodpeckers birds Size

The size of woodpeckers varies greatly.

  • Their size ranges from piculet (tiny tropical woodpecker) to the pileated (large woodpecker having crest on the top of head).
  • The piculets are of about 3 inches.
  • The pileated woodpeckers are of about 20 inches.

Woodpeckers birds Weight

On an average, the weight of woodpecker is about 7 to 600 grams.

Woodpeckers birds Wingspan

On an average, the wingspan of woodpecker is up to 30 inches.

Woodpeckers birds Habitat:

Woodpeckers are found almost everywhere.

  1. They live in forests.
  2. Few woodpeckers are also found in rocky areas.
  3. Some of them such as Gila woodpeckers are found in desert.
  4. They are not found in extreme Polar Regions, Australia, New Zealand and Madagascar.

Woodpeckers birds Appearance

  1. They usually appear brown. Some are also black and red.
  2. Most of them have crest on the top of their heads.
  3. Their plumages vary from colourless and dull to clearly visible.
  4. Some of them possess zygodactyl feet (four toes).
  5. They have short but strong legs.
  6. Their tails are stiffened.
  7. They have strong bills and sticky tongues.
  8. They have chiseled shaped beaks that are strong and sharp.
  9. They have shock absorbing skull bone i.e. hyoid bone.
  10. They have feathers on their nostrils to prevent inhaling debris.

Woodpeckers birds

Woodpeckers birds Diet

  1. Woodpeckers mainly eat insects and larvae.
  2. Bird’s eggs, reptiles and rodents are also included in the diet of woodpeckers.
  3. As omnivores, they eat nuts, fruits etc.

Woodpeckers birds Behavior: 

  1. Most woodpeckers live in solitude.
  2. Their behavior ranges from antisocial aggressive behavior to friendly behavior living in groups.


  • Drumming is a non-vocal communication.
  • During drumming, the beaks of woodpeckers struck against any hard surface repeatedly.
  • Drumming is a territorial call used as a courtship ritual.

Woodpeckers birds Calls: 

The calls of woodpeckers include twitters (repeated light sounds), trills ( quavering sound), whistles, chattering (quick, high pitched sounds), shrieks (high pitched piercing sound), wails (prolonged high pitched sound) and rattles (short, sharp knocking sound).

  • These calls are used for communication and courtship between male and female.

Woodpeckers birds Reproduction

  1. Woodpeckers use a nesting site for breeding.
  2. The nesting sites are either already present holes in tree trunks or they will make their own.
  3. They are monogamous (having sexual relationship with one partner at a time).
  4. Female usually lays 2 to 5 eggs.
  5. Incubation period is 12 to 14 days.
  6. During incubation, both the parents take turns to keep the eggs warm.
  7. After hatching into chicks, the young ones will leave the nest in 30 days.

Conservation status: 

The conservation status of woodpeckers is “Endangered”. They are close to extinction.


  • Loss of habitat is the biggest threat to woodpeckers. This is because insecticides used by agricultural companies eliminate the major source of food for woodpeckers.
  • Predators like snakes, bobcats, feral cats and foxes are also a threat to woodpeckers.

Woodpeckers birds Lifespan: 

  • The average lifespan of woodpeckers is 4 to 12 years.
  • Some can live up to 30 years provided by the suitable environmental conditions.

Some types of woodpeckers: 

Following are some of the types of woodpeckers.

Gila Woodpecker: 

  • They are medium sized.
  • Their size is about 10 inches.
  • Their habitat is western Mexico and southwestern United States.
  • They prefer to nest in desert.

Downy Woodpecker:

  • These are the smallest woodpeckers.
  • They are found in North America.
  • Their size is about 7 inches.
  • They live in forests.

Hairy Woodpecker: 

  • Their appearance is similar to Downy Woodpeckers.
  • Their size is about 10 inches.
  • They usually pick the insects that the larger Woodpeckers (Pileated Woodpeckers) accidentally miss.

Pileated Woodpecker: 

  • They are the largest woodpeckers.
  • Their size is about 19 inches.
  • They are found in North America.
  • They are found in forests.

Yellow bellied Sapsucker: 

  • They are found in Canada and northeastern United States.
  • Their size is about 8 inches.
  • They are migratory birds.

Woodpecker As Pet: 

  1. You can’t keep woodpeckers as pets because it is illegal.
  2. The reason is that they are endangered and wild birds.
  3. However, you can keep an injured woodpecker and provide proper care to it until it become healthy. After that, you have to take that bird to wild life rehabilitation center.

Woodpecker Adaptations: 

Some of the adaptations of woodpeckers are,

  1. Some woodpeckers have the crest on the top of their heads.
  2. They possess zygodactyl feet.
  3. They have sticky tongues which help them to prey on insects.
  4. They have chisel tipped beaks.
  5. Their tails are quite stiff that help them to keep in balance.
  6. For brain protection, they have shock absorbing skull bone.
  7. They have non vocal form of communication called as drumming.
  8. They have nose feathers to protect them from inhaling debris.

Woodpecker Beak Uses: 

  1. Woodpeckers have strong beaks that are chisel shaped.
  2. The chisel tip is used for drilling holes in the woods.
  3. With the help of chisel tipped beak, they prey on insects.

Woodpecker Beak Facts: 

  1. Woodpeckers have extremely strong and chisel tipped beaks.
  2. They use this beak for drilling holes in wood to prey for the insects inside.
  3. The beak consists of three layers.
  4. Outer layer is called as rhampotheca (made of keratin proteins).
  5. Middle layer consists of porous bone (connecting the two layers).
  6. Inner layer consisting of bone having large number of collagen fibers.

Woodpecker Beak Shape: 

  1. Woodpeckers have pointed, strong beak that is chisel shaped.
  2. They use this beak to prey for the insects inside the woods by drilling holes.

Woodpecker Characteristics: 

  1. Woodpeckers are the birds found in every region except extreme Polar Regions, New Zealand, New Guinea and Madagascar.
  2. They belong to Picidae family.
  3. The size of Piculets is 3 inches.
  4. The size of Pileated woodpeckers is 20 inches.
  5. Their weight is about 7 to 600g.
  6. Wingspan is 30 inches.
  7. They have sticky tongue and chisel shaped beak.
  8. They have zygodactyl feet.
  9. They have shock absorbing skull bone.
  10. Their tails are stiff.
  11. They have feathers on their nostrils.
  12. They exhibit non vocal communication known as drumming.
  13. Some of the calls include twitters, trills, whistles, shrieks etc.
  14. They are monogamous.
  15. Their conservation status is endangered.
  16. Their lifespan is 4 to 12 years.

Woodpecker Diet: 

  • Woodpecker’s diet mainly includes insects and larvae.
  • However they can also eat bird’s eggs and reptiles.
  • As omnivores, they eat fruits and nuts.

Woodpecker Facts: 

  1. Woodpeckers are found in every region except Polar Regions, New Zealand and New Guinea.
  2. They are the member of Picidae family.
  3. Their size ranges from 3 inches (Piculets) to 20 inches (Pileated woodpeckers).
  4. Wingspan of woodpecker is 30 inches.
  5. Weight of woodpecker is 7 to 600 grams.
  6. They have crest on top of their heads, chisel shaped beak, sticky tongue, zygodactyl feet and stiff tails.
  7. Their nostrils have feathers.
  8. They exhibit drumming, twitters, trills, shrieks.
  9. The conservation status is endangered.
  10. They are monogamous.
  11. The lifespan is 4 to 12 years.

Woodpeckers birds

How To Get Rid Of A Woodpecker?

Woodpeckers are wild birds that can cause serious damage. There are three ways to get rid of them. These are,

Remove and change the food source: 

  • Insects are primary food source of woodpeckers. So make sure to clean your house from insects.
  • You can also change the food source to get rid of them.

Frighten them: 

Woodpecker deterrents can frighten them. This is promising method to get rid of them.

Permanent blockage: 

For permanent solution, try bird netting.

How Big Is A Pileated Woodpecker?

  • The pileated woodpeckers are found in North America.
  • They are the largest woodpeckers.
  • Their size is 19 inches.

How Big Is A Woodpecker? 

The size of woodpeckers varies greatly.

  • Their size ranges from 3 inches (Piculets) to 20 inches (Pileated woodpeckers).

How Does A Woodpecker Peck? 

Woodpeckers peck with the help of their sharp, pointed and chisel shaped beak, sticky and long tongues.

  • They perform drilling action while pecking.
  • They prey for the insects present inside the woods.

How Big Is A Red Headed Woodpecker? 

  • The red headed woodpeckers are medium sized.
  • They are found in North America.
  • Their size ranges from 21 to 25 centimeters.


Woodpeckers are the birds found in all regions except Polar Regions, North Guinea, New Zealand and Australia. They are the member of Picidae family. They are well known for their unique features like sharp, pointed and chisel tipped beak and sticky tongue. They are one of the most astonishing birds.

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