They are not only adorable, they are fascinating! If one comes tapping on your home or tree it’s because of the unseen; ants or termites! Their clutch (home) choice is usually a dead area in wood. Oh and their territorial drum and tapping to attract a mate in the early morning hours always makes me smile. Below is an account of a Pileated Woodpecker excavating a tree infested with termites.
Recently while trekking through the woods I came through an opening and heard that old familiar “rat tat tat”. Looking up there was the most wonderful site; vibrant red head and now he wasn’t drumming but hopping up and down while picking berries off a tree. He was naturally trampolining from branch to tree and effortlessly, like an Olympic gymnast!
Started researching bird feet and found out the most amazing truth; most birds have four toes on each foot, and all birds have a claw at the tip of each toe. However, the arrangement and size of the toes and the size and shape of the claws vary according to the birds’ ways of life.
Did you know the tongue of a woodpecker wraps around its brain to cushion while “rap tap tapping”? Often wondered why woodpeckers didn’t have brain damage from the forceful drumming and now we know why.
The force of impact against a tree is so great that if he didn’t not close his eyes, he would pop his eyeballs out! And then to find out their tongue, BEGINS at the ‘forehead’; under the skin and attached to the skull between the eyes. It then splits into two strands. Each strand loops around the back of the skull, around the neck bones. Then the strands rejoin inside the rear of the lower beak. So before each “rap tap tap” his tongue recoils to cushion his brain………AMAZING! I don’t know of any animal that has this ability do you?
Nature and her Creator leaves me smiling.