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Woodpecker Edition

Posted by Cheri Penny on 6/16/2015 to 7 Things You Must Know About Birding
Woodpecker Edition
There are at least 16 types of woodpeckers in North America and does not include the 4 types of sapsuckers and the Red-shafted Flicker or Yellow-shafted Flicker, known as the Northern Flickers and the Gilded Flicker. The Black-backed Woodpecker and the Three-toed Woodpecker are two of the most northern birds found most often in the northern conifers of Canada and in the American Rockies. The Downy Woodpecker and Hairy Woodpecker can be found throughout all of Canada and USA, with the Hairy Woodpecker being the most southern traveler of the two. The largest member of the woodpecker family is the Pileated Woodpecker and it is found across Canada and the eastern states. Two woodpeckers that are showing up in the southeastern portions of Canada although it lives in the eastern states, are the Red-headed Woodpecker and the Red-bellied Woodpecker.

  • Woodpeckers eat suet,  nuts, seeds, bugs, sap and fruit. They are often  attracted to suet  feeders or nut feeders.

  • Woodpeckers will sip nectar out of saucer hummingbird feeders as well as feast on oranges at an oriole feeder.

  • Woodpeckers can peck up to 20 times per  second, or a total  of 8,000-12,000 pecks per  day.

  • Both genders of woodpeckers drum  to attract mates, establish territories, and communicate.

  • Woodpeckers lay two to three sets of eggs per  year, consisting of three to six eggs apiece. Birds breed  in the  spring  and both genders tend to their young.

  • Woodpecker's tongues are up to 11 cm  long, and they  wrap  around the  skull. Many  have barbed tongues that  help them extract bugs from trees  and holes.

  • Average life span of a wild woodpecker is from 4-11 years, depending on the  species.